Rights defenders press for PWDs social inclusion



THE Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) and the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) have called on institutions to ensure that people with disabilities (PWDs) are included in different programmes in order to achieve social inclusion.

In a recent report titled Social Inclusion and the Promotion of the Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Zimbabwe, the two rights organisations said PWDs were a hard to reach group for purposes of development owing to stigma and discrimination.

“Consortium members faced the following challenges in including persons with disabilities; lack of skills and competency to work with and mobilise PWDs, the lack of inclusive budgets to cater for inclusion costs such as sign language interpreters, braille materials and ramps for their premises,” part of the report read.

“While some consortium members struggled with social inclusion for persons with disabilities, there are others such as the ZPP and ZLHR who were able to include persons with disabilities in their programmes and thus reduced exclusion and increased agency and the enjoyment of rights.

“It is important to note that persons with disabilities are a hard to reach group and this is a result of the stigma and discrimination that comes with disability. PWDs in most communities have not been given much value as persons with rights and as such can be easily forgotten and left out.”

The rights defenders said there was need for community mobilisers that have knowledge of how to include PWDs in their programmes.

“PWDs have often had problems in their welfare, and including them in aspects to do with daily life will bridge the gap,” they said.

  •  Follow Vanessa on Twitter  @vanessa_gonye