MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS AND PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES: PROMOTING INCLUSION BY ADDRESSING EXCLUSION By Dr. Sukhwinder Kaur[1]

 

Abstract

Disability is increasingly being acknowledged as a human rights issue. Persons with disabilities are also persons with extraordinary talent. Yet they are too often forgotten. Persons with disabilities make up ten percent of the world’s population. All the Millennium Development Goals affect the lives of persons with disabilities too. Regrettably, nowhere in the MDGs, persons with disabilities are explicitly cited but they are implicitly included. When persons with disabilities are denied opportunities, they are more likely to fall into poverty and people living in conditions of poverty are more likely to develop disabilities. The Millennium Development Goals cannot be achieved without the full and effective inclusion of persons with disabilities and their participation in all stages of the MDGs processes. Children with disabilities have less access to education than others. Universal primary education would be achievable by 2015, only if the children with disabilities are also included and have access to quality and effective education. Early detection, treatment and education may increase the survival rates and minimize the consequences of disability later in life. Women with disabilities are less likely to attend school and are less likely to gain access to rehabilitation programs and vocational training. Furthermore, being disabled increases their vulnerability to violent and abusive behaviours by others. Disability is a key threat to reach the Millennium Development Goals. Thus, promoting the inclusion, rights and dignity of persons with disabilities is central to achieve MGDs. The Indian legislation ratifying various acts for the persons with disabilities in harmonization with UNCRPD have heralded a new dawn in the lives of persons with disabilities. However, translating rights on paper into real improvements for the lives of persons with disabilities is much harder. Hence, the barriers should be removed that exclude persons with disabilities and equality of opportunity for every member of society must be ensured. The paper would throw light on how various Millennium Development Goals are related to persons with disabilities.

Keywords: Millennium Development Goals, Persons with Disabilities, Rights, UNCRPD.

[1] Assistant Professor, Dept. of Community Education & Disability Studies, Panjab University, Sector-14, Chandigarh.

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