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Sightsavers praised in House of Lords debate on disability-inclusive development

December 2018
Cameroon Senator Robert Oyono, the first in the country with a disability, holds a discussion with local officials and Sightsavers staff.
Sightsavers’ work ensures that people with disabilities are included in the decisions that affect their lives.

Sightsavers’ work on disability has been hailed during a debate on the British government’s new strategy for ensuring people with disabilities are included in development planning.

Former government minister Baroness Anelay initiated the debate in the House of Lords following the launch of the Department for International Development’s new disability strategy on 3 December.

The new approach, which Sightsavers had been calling for, sets out how DFID will make its work and the programmes it funds more inclusive of people with disabilities in the world’s poorest countries.

During the debate, Lord Shinkwin thanked Sightsavers for its role in supporting the first ever Global Disability Summit in July, which led to 170 commitments by governments, the private sector, UN agencies, and civil society organisations to prioritise disability in global development.

Baroness Jenkin of Kennington, citing Sightsavers’ research on political participation by people with disabilities, welcomed the government’s commitment to support people to help them overcome barriers that prevent them taking part in decisions that affect their lives.

The importance of involving people with disabilities in the design and implementation of development polices was stressed by Lord Bruce, an approach summed up by the motto of disabled people’s organisations: “Nothing about us without us”.

Wrapping up the debate for the government, DFID Minister Lord Bates assured the Lords that his department is working diligently to implement the commitments made at the Global Disability Summit.

Read a transcript of the debate on the UK Parliament website

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