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Workshop spotlights rights of disabled

Update: February, 09/2015 - 08:41

HCM CITY (VNS) — HCM City's Disability Research and Capacity Development Center held a workshop for 30 disabled people on the recently ratified United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

After holding the two-day workshop that ended yesterday to speed up implementation of the convention, the centre expects the trainees to train others in turn to spread the message rapidly.

Luu Thi Anh Loan, the centre's acting director, said it was very important for people with disabilities to understand their rights and responsibilities so that they can raise their voice and make suggestions to policymakers to protect their rights.

The ratification of the convention by Viet Nam last November was a good omen for ensuring equal rights for people with disabilities in the country, she said.

It would help achieve the target of providing vocational training and jobs for 550 working-age people with disabilities by 2020, she said.

The Government also plans that by that year all public offices, bus and train stations, health facilities, schools, sport stadiums and other public facilities throughout the country will be accessible to disabled people.

The accessibility is low now.

The centre did a study on access in HCM City, surveying 1,800 buildings in Districts 1 and 3. It found a mere 78 accessible to wheelchair users.

"The country has laws safeguarding the rights of people with disabilities but enforcement is poor," Loan said.

"For instance, the law's provisions on employment for disabled people only encourages employers to recruit them and does not make it mandatory."

A 2010 report from the city Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs said only 6,000 out of 18,000 disabled people of working age had jobs.

Viet Nam has around 6.7 million people with disabilities, accounting for 8.7 per cent of its population.

The workshop was organised by the centre in co-operation with International Labour Organisation. — VNS

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