Caricom has reinforced its commitment to protecting the rights of persons with disabilities in the Caribbean with the signing of the Declaration of Petion Ville on Friday in Haiti.
According to a press release from the Caricom Secretariat, in the declaration Caricom member states reiterated their commitment to the implementation of the Kingston Accord on the Responsibilities of States with respect to Persons with Disabilities, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Inter-American Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities, in accordance with the Constitution and laws of respective member states.
They have agreed “to address with renewed energy and dedication the development of legal frameworks at the national level made through adherence to international and regional instruments to promote and protect the rights and needs of persons with disabilities.”
Additionally, the declaration stated that the signatories would continue efforts to build inclusive societies for both present and future generations of person with disabilities. It also recognised the vulnerability of women and girls with disabilities who are often more exposed to violence, abuse, mistreatment and discrimination and agreed to attend to the needs of men and boys with disabilities, particularly in respect of education, training, health and employment opportunities.
The declaration also addressed the needs of older persons with disabilities and committed to integrate policies and programmes that prepare societies to support the continued independence, productivity and well-being of aging populations in development planning. It also included a resolve to establish a common definition of disability and to develop and implement a common framework for national and regional data collection, to promote the standardization of measurement of progress in addressing the needs of persons with disabilities.