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People with disabilities have rights to be loved, cared for, and to be protected

(Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 03/11/2016)

People with disabilities have rights to be protected, to be loved and cared for, they have rights to access education and to participate in family, community and church activities.

Coordinator of the ‘Ofa-Tui-moe-‘Amanaki (OTA) Center – Tiulipe Peleketi made the statement to Radio Tonga News this morning.

This coincides with Tonga’s Law Week next week to be commemorated with the theme ‘Rights of Persons with Disabilities’.

The objective of the week is to inform the public on the rights of persons with disabilities, as stipulated under the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – in which Tonga is a signatory to.

The challenges encountered when trying to accomplish these rights includes; stigmatization – many parents, relatives and homes still keep their children with disabilities away from these centers for help. Several children are being neglected, their voices are being ignored, many of them have been mistreated at home and in the society but if taught appropriately – their performances will be unexpected.”

Yesterday a training was conducted for the staff of the OTA Center led by the Solitor General – Sione Sisifā and Lepolo Taunisila of the Ministry of Internal Affairs pertaining the rights of people with disabilities.

These rights include their rights to access justice, right to education, right to health, protecting the integrity of the person, respect for the family, participation rights, work and employment, right to vote and others.

Tonga’s Education Ministry introduced Inclusive Education in 2007 with a special call for children with disabilities at the GPS Ngele’ia. This is part of moves by government to recognize the UN convention on the rights of disabled people so they can learn side by side with normal children and have same access to all other good things in life.

© Radio & TV Tonga News 2016