United Nations in Maldives, on Thursday, launched the Disability Inclusion Strategy for 2020 to 2024.
Launched to coincide with the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the strategy comprises of four core areas to promote the inclusion of people with disabilities.
Under core area one, which centres around leadership, strategic planning and management, UN Maldives will lead by example to ensure disability inclusivity in all planning, policies, programmes and strategies.
Core Area two, inclusiveness, aims to enhance the involvement of persons with disabilities and their representative organizations as well as ensuring complete accessibility to all UN initiatives and organizations.
The third core area, programming, supports disability inclusive programming and the development of joint initiatives to accelerate progress of the disability sector.
Core Area four will focus on organizational culture, aiming to increase knowledge on disability inclusion within the UN Maldives team and encourage further development of internal systems to recruit and retain persons with disabilities.
UN Resident Coordinator for Maldives Catherine Haswell stated that the strategy "reflects a global UN priority, anchoring tangible and concrete actions at all levels of the work of UN agencies in the Maldives."
"In line with this year's theme for the day, our commitment is a tangible contribution towards building back better from the pandemic, towards the 2030 Agenda by creating more inclusive communities that leave no one behind".
The Human Rights Commission of Maldives (HRCM) revealed that a total of 72 cases were lodged pertaining to violence against people with disabilities including abuse and negligence from family, misuse of the disability allowance and requests to transfer such individuals under state care.
The United Nations Development Program (UNDP)'s report on 'Addressing the Socio-Economic Impact of COVID-19 on the Maldives' highlighted the necessity of prioritising the welfare of vulnerable groups, such as people with disabilities, amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The report noted that challenges in accessing public information placed people with special needs at a higher risk of contracting the virus.