On December 3, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities was established and is celebrated worldwide. It is celebrated all over the world aiming to promote the understanding of disability issues and the mobilization for the rights, the dignity and the well-being of people with disabilities. Finally, the day seeks to increase the degree of integration of people with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.
People with disabilities, especially the children, face obstacles in everyday life, since society often does not take into account the characteristics of the specific population group, their capabilities and special needs. Disability is now considered the result of the relationship between an individual's abilities and the demands of the environment. These people often experience the phenomenon of "Social Exclusion". They feel marginalized and deprived of participation in social, public goods and services, which should be common to all citizens of a state. This causes even more difficulties to children, as they don’t enjoy equal opportunities in education, health and entertainment due to the lack of proper infrastructure.
Also, people with disabilities do not want to make their lives easier. They are asking for their lives to be equal to ours. The aim must not be the typical, but real equality, which means equal opportunities in social, economic and political life. What should be also sought is respect for individual and group individuality of people with disabilities from states and society in general.
This year, we highlight the challenges, obstacles and opportunities for people living with disabilities, in the context of a global pandemic. Since March 2020, every person with a disability has been affected by drastic political, social and economic changes as a result of domestic and international reactions to COVID-19. This year, World Disability Day should be used to recognize that people living with disabilities are among the populations most affected by the COVID pandemic. Especially for children with disabilities, the pandemic has deprived them of access to many of the services they need as well as their quality.
This year, World Disability Day should be used to recognize that people living with disabilities, including children, are among the populations that have most been affected by the COVID pandemic.
Realizing the difficulties and long-term problems that people with disabilities face in Cyprus, especially during the pandemic, we call on domestic and international public health officials, politicians, advocates and every citizen in every community to learn from the experiences of people with disabilities during this pandemic and to push for more significant investments in socio-economic structural grounds. Collective actions and measures will be able to reduce barriers faced by people with disabilities in every community on earth.
For any further information on the humanitarian programs of “Hope For Children” CRC Policy Center you can call at 22103234 or visit the website www.uncrcpc.org.cy