Focus on the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the global development agenda, as they are both a large and a vulnerable group.
CBM and its partners have launched a forum in Togo to advocate for the full inclusion of persons with disabilities in various discussions, decisions and actions that will help the country achieve full development.
The forum was launched by CBM in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Action, Promotion of Women and Literacy in Lomé-Togo. It brings together stakeholders involved in implementing disability-inclusive development in Togo, as well as local authorities, international associations, organisations of persons with disabilities and the media.
CBM CEO Dr Rainer Brockhaus pointed out at the opening that inclusion is a human rights issue because persons with disabilities are among the most discriminated against in the world.
He said that this advocacy work is, therefore, necessary.
Remove the barriers that exclude persons with disabilities so that they can enjoy the same opportunities and rights as everyone else.Dr Rainer Brockhaus, CBM CEO
The mission of the Forum is;
- To give an overview of the current situation of inclusion of persons with disabilities in Togo by the partner organisation FETAPH (Togolese Federation of Associations of Persons with Disabilities in Togo).
- To define perspectives for greater inclusion of persons with disabilities in the various development measures.
- To collect and adopt advocacy experiences from Germany in the field of inclusion.
Why the inclusion of persons with disabilities in development is important
More than one billion persons with disabilities worldwide are more likely to be poor and excluded from a range of areas of life. In Togo, an estimated 1.36% of the total population has a disability (2010 Togo Census). Excluding them from decision-making processes misses a major opportunity for political, social, and economic development. It is therefore important to focus on the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the global development agenda, as they are both a large and a vulnerable group.
Nothing About Us Without Us, the slogan of the disability movement, states that no policy or measure should be adopted without the meaningful participation of the members of the group(s) affected by that policy. Every government is, therefore, called upon to align its national and international policies with these recommendations, as well as with the commitments of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Therefore, this advocacy forum is welcomed by the Togolese government.
At the opening of the Advocacy Forum, the need to adapt and advocate for the implementation of the Law on Social Protection of Persons with Disabilities in Togo was discussed. The high-level meeting also recommended the establishment of anti-discrimination monitoring cells at the level of the General Secretariat of the Government and the National Assembly to create disability-friendly legislation, establish a national fund to support persons with disabilities and combat discrimination by appointing competent persons with disabilities to political and administrative decision-making positions at public and private levels.
Togolese government commits to inclusion
Togo's Director of Cabinet, Koffi Gani, stated the commitment of the Togolese government to persons with disabilities at the launch of the project.
"The issue of inclusion of persons with disabilities is not a voluntary matter, but a matter of social responsibility. No Togolese should be forgotten," he said.
The First Counsellor, who represented the German Ambassador of Togo, Camilla Gendolla, reaffirmed the commitment of German federal cooperation "to contribute to improving the living conditions of persons with disabilities in Togo."
The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development finances various CBM projects, including in Togo.