NHA TRANG (VNS)— People with disabilities in Viet Nam now enjoy better access to facilities as well as greater recognition of their legal rights and responsibilities, an international conference heard on Tuesday.
Speakers acknowleded at the conference that the improvement in status happened after the nation became a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
Once considered passive beneficiaries of social welfare and healthcare programmes, people with disabilities are now seen as active members of society, said Hoang Chi Trung, Head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Department of International Organisations.
He said said people with disabilities now had many more opportunities to contribute to the well being of their families as well as the larger community.
He said Viet Nam had issued several preferential policies and taken firm steps to help people with disabilities stabilise their lives, both materially and spiritually.
The country adopted the Law on Persons with Disabilities in 2010.
Doctor Hyung Shik Kim from the University of International Studies in the Republic of Korea said government departments should ensure that all vulnerable groups benefited.
Co-operation should not only focus on protecting them, but also on improving their rights to take part in the development of society.
He said Viet Nam was right to focus on promoting the participation of disabled people in social and economic activities.
Risnawati Utami from Indonesia said Indonesia approved the CRPD in 2011 and positive changes had been recorded, particularly the active participation of local organisations of disabled people.
Viet Nam has about 6.7 million people with disabilities, equivalent to 8 per cent of the total population. — VNS