The government of Ghana has been encouraged to prioritize access to education for Children with disability by redoubling its efforts to promote inclusive education for all and finalize measures to support children with severe forms of disabilities that impede their access to schools
The State has also been asked to continue to place emphasis on ensuring equitable education opportunities for children with disabilities and other special needs.,
“Take appropriate measures to ensure that children have access to education and reduce the enrolment gap, particularly regarding children with disabilities and children from vulnerable segments”
The above were some recommendations made to the government of Ghana at the recently held Universal Peer Review( UPR) Process in Geneva, Switzerland.
Singapore, Qatar, Sri Lanka State of Palestine, Viet Nam, Angola, Bahamas, Djibouti, and Lithuania recommended to Ghana to continue its efforts to deliver free education to all and to remove barriers and promote access for women, children, persons with disabilities and other vulnerable groups and ensure that children with special needs and disabilities are at the forefront of these efforts.
They underscored the need for the Government of Ghana to take additional measures guaranteeing non-discriminatory access of persons with disabilities to basic social services, in particular access to education and health services, adding that must continue efforts to deliver free education to all and aim to promote education possibilities for girls, also to persons with disabilities and other vulnerable groups.
The UPR is a unique process that involves a review of the human rights records of all UN Member States. The UPR was created through UN General Assembly resolution 60/251, on 15 March 2006 which established the Human Rights Council itself.
Speaking to the Media on the UPR recommendations in Accra, the Programmes Officer at the Ghana Federation of Disability(GFD) Organizations, Mr Adam Abdul Wahab indicated that his outfit submitted a disability-specific human rights shadow report to the human rights council to be considered alongside the national report and that resulted into the number of recommendations the Ghana received.
Mr Abdul Wahab stated that the GFD had an opportunity to participate in the Pre-session in Geneva where it engaged a number of Missions and then came back to Ghana to engage a lot of High Commissions and Embassies.
He indicated that following their engagement with a section of stakeholders, they were able to ensure that they influenced the recommendations in the interests of persons with disabilities.
“With this influence, we were able to receive a lot of recommendations targeting persons with disabilities.”
During the review, Ghana received a total number of 298 recommendations from 111 counties. Of the 298 recommendations, 33 of them representing 11% were on disability and mental health.
“We have a number of recommendations to the Government of Ghana to implement inclusive education policy to ensure that persons with disabilities have access to quality education,” Mr. Abdul Wahab added.
Since the inception of the UPR, Ghana has been reviewed three times but there has not been a specific disability-related shadow report aside from the state report. Ghana was reviewed in 2008, in 2012, and in 2017, for 2008 and 2012, there was no recommendation on disability probably due to the absence of a disability-related shadow report. In 2017, Divine Group International Foundation and Centre for Employment for Persons with Disabilities joined the UPR-CSOs Platform to submit a shadow report that raised concern on some human rights situations of persons with disabilities and resulted in Ghana receiving four recommendations about disability.
By: Mohammed Suleman/Publicagendagh.com