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OIC-IPHRC calls for human rights-based approach to design national policies during post-pandemic recovery 

LONDON: The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission joins the international community in commemorating the International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2021 with an emphatic appeal to sign and implement the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, and calls on members to design their respective national policies and post-pandemic recovery efforts based on human rights-based approaches. 

The ongoing coronavirus disease pandemic has aptly highlighted that protection, response, and recovery efforts will not be effective unless everyone is equally valued and included, the OIC-IPHRC statement said, urging action to ensure persons with disabilities are included in public emergency planning, health responses, and recovery efforts.

According to the World Health Organization, there are at least one billion people with disabilities worldwide, of which 80 percent live in developing countries, which include OIC states. 

The OIC said it recognizes the importance of promoting and protecting the rights of people with disabilities to build inclusive and harmonious societies. 

The new Cairo Declaration of the OIC on Human Rights has duly emphasized the importance of the rights of people with disabilities in various contexts, a statement by the commission said.

The OIC is initiating the Plan of Action for Persons with Disabilities to help member states align their national policies and legislation with universal human rights standards, particularly the UNCRPD.

The commission also called upon all member states to: 

Design policies and targeted interventions to remove psychological, social, cultural and environmental barriers, which hinder the enjoyment of human rights by persons with disabilities

Follow multidisciplinary and multisectoral approach by integrating civil society, religious leaders, media and private sector to enhance public awareness and influence public policies aiming to improve public perception

Enhance opportunities for their employment and accessibility to education and healthcare services

Formulate national disability strategy/plan of action for improved investments in rehabilitation assistive technologies

Enhance capacities to gather data, statistics and qualitative information to better assess and address the situation of persons with disabilities