Dear Editor – Once the DCCG ratifies the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), as indicated by the Prime Minister before he left for New York, it is likely the Solomon Islands will be able to apply for, and possibly, receive funds from the US based Disability Rights Fund (DRF).
The DRF supports Disabled Persons Organizations in the developing world, including the Solomon Islands, to take the lead in advocating for the human rights of persons with disabilities at local and national levels, utilizing the mechanism of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
The guiding principles of the organization (Quote “ encourages and promotes, for ourselves and our partners, respect for the general principles stated in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Article 3), as follows:
• Respect for inherent dignity, individual autonomy including the freedom to make one’s own choices, and independence of persons
• Full and effective participation and inclusion in society
• Respect for difference and acceptance of persons with disabilities as part of human diversity and humanity
• Equality of opportunity
• Equality between men and women.”
Much of the groundwork on disability rights in the Solomon Islands was written up in an excellent paper in 2013 and styled “Monash University and People with Disabilities Solomon Islands” by Dr Alexandra Gartrell, Professor Lenore Manderson, Dr Megan Jennaway, Judy Fangalasuu and Simon Dolaiano.
It is to be hoped, and to be encouraged, that the DRF organization will be approached and funding assistance to the disabled persons in the Solomon Islands will be provided once the Convention is officially ratified, thus allowing persons with disabilities to participate fully in society and enjoy equal rights and opportunities.