150,000 People with Disabilities Suffer from Exclusion
On 12 January 2012, the Office of the Prime Minister/Office for Good Governance, Human Rights, Equal Opportunities and Gender Issues (OPM/OGG), in cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) launched a report on the conditions of persons with disabilities in Kosovo.
There are approximately 150,000 people with disabilities in Kosovo who suffer from exclusion in their everyday life and this report presents their general characteristics, including health, education, socio-economic and employment status, accessibility, discrimination, civic participation, and legal matters they face. The report titled "Broad Survey of People with Disabilities in Kosovo" aims at facilitating and supporting policy-makers and other relevant stakeholders to get to know persons with disabilities better and to increase the knowledge and understanding of how these difficulties are amplified because of neglect or discrimination.
Mr. Habit Hajredini, Director of the Office for Good Governance, and Ms. Osnat Lubrani, UN Development Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative hosted the event with participation of government officials, relevant local and international stakeholders and representatives of people with disabilities.
Ms. Lubrani in her address said: "Kosovo has strong laws ensuring the rights of persons with disabilities as well as a solid National Disability Action Plan. However, our findings generally indicate that much remains to see these laws and policies well implemented. Clearly this survey tells us that we all have our work cut for us. The government has a lead role to play, and should capitalize on the expertise and commitment of civil society organizations, who merit our strong support as advocates and suppliers of services for PWD. The survey sends a message also to the international community to consider strengthening support for programmes and actions, including awareness raising campaigns, to help address gaps identified to ensure that Kosovo fulfills human rights and responsibility for care for PWDs at the standards set globally and by the EU".