The petition addresses the fact that in many countries, people with disabilities experience high levels of discrimination and are denied the rights to go to school, find a job, access health care and take part in political processes.
The petition is part of Sightsavers’ Equal World campaign, which calls for political leaders and global organisations to ensure the one billion people with disabilities around the world, 800 million of whom live in developing countries, can claim their rights and participate fully in society.
Sightsavers’ Campaign Manager Tessa Murphy said: “Our petition for disability rights has two goals. At a global level, it calls on the United Nations to make sure that its just-published disability strategy is implemented in a way that allows for the full inclusion and active participation of people with disabilities. And at a national level, it calls on specific country governments to ratify or implement disability laws and meet commitments on disability inclusion.
“We’re excited to be campaigning in countries across Africa and Asia for the first time, and are aiming to get as many signatures from around the world as possible. We want to show that there’s widespread global support for disability rights and that people everywhere are no longer prepared to tolerate the rights of 15 per cent of the world’s population being denied.”
As well as its global call to the UN, the Equal World petition has specific calls to action targeting the governments of Bangladesh, Cameroon, Ghana, Guinea, India, Ireland, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Uganda.
Petition signatures will be collected between June and September, and the petition will be handed in to the UN (and relevant member state governments) in September to coincide with the UN General Assembly held in New York.
Find out more and sign the Equal World petition