Gender and Social Inclusion - National Disability Inclusive Development Policy 2018-2025

Persons with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual, orsensory impairments, which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full andeffective participation in society on an equal basis with others.5 Disability may be experiencedby people of any age – children, young and older people.Everyone is entitled to the same rights and freedoms, regardless of their disability status. This isa fundamental principle of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons withDisabilities (CRPD), which Vanuatu ratified in 2008. However, persons with disabilities oftenlack equitable access to the same opportunities enjoyed by their peers without disabilities.Barriers such as negative attitudes and stigma, an inaccessible built environment, andexclusionary policies can restrict persons with disabilities from enjoying their rights toeducation, health care, employment and other opportunities.Disability inclusive development is both a process and an outcome. The purpose of disabilityinclusive development is to realize an inclusive society that values diversity and engages personswith disabilities as participating members of society with equal rights. The disability inclusivedevelopment approach brings the disability perspective into all elements of national andcommunity development. It assesses and strengthens institutions, policies and programs so thatthey better take into account, and positively impact on, the lives of persons with disabilities.The process of disability inclusive development meaningfully and effectively engages personswith disabilities in development processes to challenge and address inequities. Persons withdisabilities are not a homogeneous group. Disability inclusive development initiatives mustconsider the various perspectives and experiences of older people, men, women, girls, boys,youth and children with a range of different impairments, and diverse experiences of disability.Disability inclusive development is often implemented according to the twin track approach,which requires action along two vectors: mainstreaming across legislation, policies, programsand activities at all levels, and implementing targeted efforts that improve access to the particularaccommodations and services required specifically by persons with disabilities.In Vanuatu, many gains have been made under the auspices of the National Disability Policy2008 – 2015. These include the establishment of a Disability Desk within the Ministry of Justiceand Community Services (MJCS) as the Government of Vanuatu’s disability coordinationagency, the development of the Inclusive Education Policy and Strategic Plan 2010 – 2020 andthe National Disability Inclusion Policy for the Technical and Vocational Education andTraining (TVET) Sector 2016 – 2020. Vanuatu’s National Sustainable Development Plan(NSDP), known as Vanuatu 2030: The Peoples Plan, formalises a national commitment todisability inclusion and rights through multiple disability inclusive objectives and indicators.

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