UN Report on Persons With Disabilities Recommends Awareness and Policies to Strengthen and Promote Human Rights-Based Approach to Disability in Iraq
Baghdad, 26 January 2017 - As part of its work to promote the respect and protection of the rights of persons with disabilities, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), in cooperation with Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), published a report on the human rights situation of persons with disabilities in Iraq.
Through a gender-based analysis, the report considers the extent to which persons with disabilities are effectively included in Iraqi society and can exercise their rights under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, to which Iraq acceded in 2013. It looks at ways in which the State, civil society and the families of persons with disabilities may help remove attitudinal and physical obstacles that create, promote or sustain disability in the first place. The Report briefly analyses the relevant national legislation and its compliance with relevant international standards, and recalls the work of UNAMI and OHCHR to promote and protect the rights of persons with disabilities in Iraq.
“Persons with disabilities continue to be disproportionately affected by conflict and humanitarian emergencies in Iraq”, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq Ján Kubiš noted. “The Government of Iraq has an obligation to make sure that persons with disabilities are given the same opportunities to participate in the political, social, cultural and economic life of their communities and the country, on an equal footing with all other Iraqis to ensure they are able to enjoy the same standards of equality, rights and dignity as everyone else”.
The Report makes a number of recommendations to strengthen and promote a human rights-based approach to disability in Iraq. These include the need for a robust public information campaign to raise awareness on the rights of persons with disabilities and fight discrimination against them, as well as the design and implementation of policies and programs aimed at enhancing their participation in public life, in line with the Convention and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in consultation with persons with disabilities and with a specific focus on more at-risk groups among them, including women and girls.