Commemorating December 3: International Day for People with Disabilities
“Today, the issue of disability is recognised as a human rights issue”
President Ersin Tatar issued a statement commemorating December 3, International Day for People with Disabilities.
The statement reads:
“The approach that considers the rights of persons with disabilities as an integral part of human rights law and adopts the equal participation of persons with disabilities, with other individuals, in all areas of social life without discrimination, guides our international policies and practices.
With the demand and just struggle of persons with disabilities, it has become a globally accepted approach that 'disability is a human rights issue'. Now, instead of being seen as in need of protection and help whose fates are decided by others, they are accepted as autonomous individuals with authority and right to make decisions over their own lives. Since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted in 1948, a number of international conventions defining the civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights that all humanity will enjoy under the auspices of the United Nations have been negotiated and agreed upon.
These conventions set forth the basic principles and obligations of States in protecting and promoting the rights of all people, including persons with disabilities. Although it is accepted that it is a natural right guaranteed by the contracts made, in practice it is accepted that other individuals are deprived of their fundamental rights and freedoms in a global sense.
This approach became official with the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol (A/RES/61/106), which was adopted on December 13, 2006, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. This convention aims to encourage and ensure the equal enjoyment of all rights and fundamental freedoms by persons with disabilities and to strengthen respect for their human dignity.
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus unanimously passed in its 74th session on July 26, 2010, Paragraph (1) of Article 94 of the Constitution, 'Law on Approval of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities'. By doing so, the TRNC ratified the said article after it was published in the Official Gazette.
However, with the awareness that there can be problems in practice, the Disability Committee has been established by the Presidency to recommend steps to be communicated to the government non-governmental organisations and organisations representing people with disabilities for measures to be taken to remove obstacles from the front of people with disabilities, to develop rehabilitation and support services, to provide adequate social protection, to create an inclusive policy and program, and to enact existing laws.
The thought that drives me is a country where we all lead a healthy, comfortable, and dignified life. Together with the realisation of this idea, we will ensure the establishment of an all-inclusive society where people with disabilities can live a happy and comfortable life, and where obstacles have been overcome."