Doha: (Marriott Hotel: Agencies: 8/6/2008): A number of measures for Qatar implementation of the UN International Convention on Rights of People With Disabilities were proposed at a conference jointly organised by the office of the UN Special Rapporteur and the Supreme Council for Family Affairs (SCFA) yesterday.
Qatar ratified the convention on May 12 but is yet to sign the Optional Protocol, which serves as an instrument for policy-making and as a basis for technical and economic co-operation among countries.
Participating in the discussions were officials of ministries, non-governmental organizations, the Emiri Diwan and charitable organizations as well as people with disabilities (PWD).
In a draft communiqué, the participants urged the government to appoint a national representative who would be charged with the responsibility of addressing issues of concern to PWD.
They also recommended that a national committee be set up to register complaints from PWD regarding their rights and conduct investigations.
Other recommendations were: policy makers should ensure the rights of PWD; the government should conduct awareness campaigns on their rights and provide medical, health and social services; and the issue of the rights of the disabled should be integrated into the school curriculum.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the conference, UN Special Rapporteur on Disabilities Sheikha Hessa bint Khalifa al-Thani praised SCFA chairperson HH Sheikha Mozah Nasser al-Misnad for her support to the cause. Sheikha Hessa also stressed the need for awareness campaigns and training, which she said would impact positively on the lives of PWD.
SCFA secretary general Abdullah al-Khalifa highlighted the support and care provided by HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani and Sheikha Mozah for the disabled.