‘Let’s protect and promote the rights of people with disabilities’

By ZBC Reporter

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has hinted on the need for requisite framework in the protection of rights for people living with disabilities.

He was speaking during the launch  of the National Disability and Labour Migration Policies at the Harare International Conference Centre in Harare this Wednesday morning.

These critical policies augment the already existing policies dealing with disability issues and labour migration. In line with promises made in 2018, it is my administration’s determination to develop robust policies that improve the lives of our people. It is incumbent upon all of us not to view persons with disability as a charity,

To advance this quest, the importance of the legislative framework as we protect and promote the rights of this Constituency cannot be over-emphasised. Key milestones have been achieved since the inception of the second republic, he said.

Vice President and Minister of Health & Child Care Retired General Constantino Chiwenga said the disability policy is meant to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities.

In the spirit of inclusivity and unity, we are created equally as human beings and everyone should be accorded equal opportunity to excel. 1.4 million are estimated to be with disability across the country. The implementation of these policies will see the accrual of positives in terms of improving the quality of lives. The launch of the migration policy is exciting as it is relevant. The policy seeks to improve the governance of labour migration and empower migrant workers. It is the vision of our guest to see an all-inclusive nation with equal opportunities.

Speaking at the same event the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Professor Paul Mavhima noted that the policies are testimony of government’s efforts towards inclusive growth.

The policies prove the direction that the government is taking regarding recognising people with disabilities. It is important that the needs of people with disabilities are mainstreamed for inclusive growth, said Mavhima.

Turning to the issue of migrants, Minister Mavhima attributed most challenges to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and emphasised the importance of policy implementation.

The outbreak of Covid-19 revealed challenges faced by migrants hence the need for a particular policy to address such challenges. The effectiveness of our policies will be measured on the status of implementation and it is important for resources to ensure that realisation of policy objectives,

United Nations Resident Coordinator Ms Maria Ribeiro pledged support to Zimbabwe in the fulfilling of the policies which she said will propel Zimbabwe in the attainment of SDGs.

The launch of the two policies is the culmination of efforts by the government towards the achievement of SDGs. Zimbabwe is one of the 182 parties to the UN convention on disability. The policy puts Zimbabwe as a front runner in the attainment  of 2030 agenda

UN stands ready to work with government and other stakeholders for robust implementation of the two policies for the attainment of SDGs, she said.

The National Migration Policy is informed by the need to protect the rights of migrant labour to neighbouring countries.

It is also  informed by the recognition and need to address challenges such as brain drain, lack of social mechanisms to address challenges faced by vulnerable groups such as women and children, disabled and aged migrants.

The policy spells out the strategic areas of focus, policy options and action plans under four sections namely governance of labour migration, protection and empowerment of migrant workers, harnessing labour migration for development, and development of comprehensive data on labour migration.
This policy is particularly important to Zimbabwe as the country’s citizens working in foreign countries have on many occasions have been victims of discrimination, abuse and sometimes have been murdered in xenophobic attacks.

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