APEC 2018 News

APEC Disability Symposium Addresses Persons Living with Disability Challenges

By Theckla Gunga – EMTV News, Port Moresby

The Papua New Guinea government is drafting a Bill to better address issues affecting People living with Disabilities. This was announced during the Group of Friends on Disability Symposium last week by minister for Youth, Religion and Community Development, Soroi Eoe.

The Group of Friends on Disability Symposium is one of the discussions leading up to the Second Senior Officials Meeting for APEC 2018. In this discussion, APEC member countries discussed how they are addressing challenges facing people living with disabilities in their countries. Focus of this particular discussion, was on using Digital Technology to address some of these challenges.

Papua New Guinea is amongst countries in the Asia Pacific region that has an estimated 650 million people living with disabilities. Further research from the World Health Organization (WHO) states that three quarters of this 650 million, live in rural areas in developing countries. The challenge is to identify the different barriers that prevent those with special needs from becoming self-reliant or accessing education and health services.

Since 2013, the PNG government started establishing policies that accommodate the needs of people living with disabilities. One such move is the creation of the 2015 to 2025 National Policy on people living with Disabilities. The discussions ended on Saturday 19th May.

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