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"The full enjoyment of the rights of persons with disabilities is an important contribution towards a fairer society," says Minister Marjeta Cotman


La ministre Marjeta Cotman: "Faire pleinement bénéficier aux personnes handicapées de leurs droits contribue considérablement à une société plus juste."

 

From left to right on the photography: Commissioner Vladimir Špidla, Minister Marjeta Cotman and President of the European Disability Forum Yannis VardakastanisThe full enjoyment of the rights of persons with disabilities is an important contribution towards a fairer society, pointed out the President of the EU Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council, Slovenian Minister Marjeta Cotman, at the conference on the human rights of persons with disabilities, organised under the Slovenia EU Council Presidency by the Slovenian Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Affairsin cooperation with the European Commission. The core theme of the conference is the political implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, focusing on the progress made by European policy in its implementation.

 

"Ratification of the Convention within the European Union and the launch, at the same time, of the procedure for the adoption of a Directive prohibiting discrimination against persons with disabilities will clearly show that the European Union has already reached a level of development that allows it to assume the responsibilities of a world leader also in the affirmation of human rights of vulnerable groups, including persons with disabilities. It will thus meet the expectations of the more than 50 million people with disabilities and their family members in the European Union," said Council President Marjeta Cotman. The Conference is intended to bolster activities aimed at ensuring equal opportunities and preventing discrimination against persons with disabilities.

 

"The full enjoyment of the rights of persons with disabilities is an important contribution towards a fairer society. Today's conference is one of the milestones in combating discrimination against persons with disabilities and in achieving equality and equal rights for them at Member State and EU level," underscored Mrs Cotman.

Šimbera QuartetPersons with disabilities constitute the largest minority in the world: according to United Nations data, there are over 650 million persons with disabilities worldwide and, in Slovenia, approximately 165 000. If we add the immediate family members of the disabled to this figure, almost 25% of the world population interfaces directly with disability. Experts point out that, thanks to advances in medicine and increased life expectancy, the number of people with disabilities will increase in the coming decades. Accordingly, the scope of services and programmes needed by persons with disabilities is expected to broaden.

 

The conference entitled ‘Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – From Words to Reality?' is focusing on the practical implementation of the Convention, living in the community for persons with disabilities, employment and accessibility in the broader sense.

 

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities entered into force on 3 May 2008. By 30 March 2007, it had been signed by 127 countries and ratified by 25. Slovenia was the third European Union Member State to ratify it.

 

The honorary patron of the conference is the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Dr Danilo Türk. In addition to distinguished experts and the President of the EU Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council, Slovenian Minister Marjeta Cotman, the conference is also being attended by the European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Vladimir Špidla, ministers responsible for this field from the Member States, and representatives of other organisations, the European Disability Forum and the European Commission.

 

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