To observe this day, the Institute for Youth Development KULT and more than 20 non-governmental organisations from the entire BiH, cooperating in the Strengthening institutional capacity of USAID partners in BiH program, are drawing attention to the position of persons with disabilities and the problems they face daily.
â€śBy observing this day, we strive not only to raise consciousness about the benefits of the inclusion of persons with disabilities in all aspects of political, economic and cultural life, but also their actual, concrete involvement in social processesâ€ť, stated Muamer Logo, spokesman of the Institute for Youth Development KULT.
BiH still does not have official records of the exact number of persons with disabilities, which shows a disregard for the needs of this particular group. Based on the data provided by social service agencies and pension funds of both entities, the Agency for Statistics of BiH estimates that more than 270 000 citizens have some form of disability. According to BiH laws, disability benefits can be accessed by persons with congenital or acquired sight/hearing loss, physical disabilities, intellectual difficulties, autism and mental illnesses. Unlike domestic laws, international regulation, such as the UN Convention on the Rights of persons with disabilities, include in their provisions persons with long-term physical, intellectual, psychological or sensory impairments.
As Muamer Logo emphasised: â€śNon-governmental organisations consider it necessary to protect the human rights of persons with disabilities and provide them with equal access and participation in all aspects of the society. It is paramount that we fight stereotypes and show the public that persons with disabilities are equally capable to perform everyday activities with equal treatment. The initiative BiH Without Barriers draws attention to the discrimination of persons with disabilities who use wheelchairs or other assistive devices, and are very often unable to enter public buildings due to inadequate infrastructureâ€ś.
The initiative BiH without barriers! will include an analysis of the accessibility of the more important buildings in BiH, which will be mapped through Facebook. The goal of the action is to provide an account of all socially (ir)responsible public institutions, companies, etc.
The origin of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities dates back to 1956, when a fire broke out in a coal mine in Bois Du Casier, Belgium. In 1998, to honor the memory of those who died in the fire, the United Nations declared November 3 the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
The video to commemorate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities was a joint effort of the following organisations: Citizens’ Association NeĹˇto ViĹˇe, Foundation Mozaik, Association Centre for Educational Initiatives Step-by-Step, Association of Election Officials in BiH, Foundation CURE, Association CRMA, INFOHOUSE, Youth Organisation Odisej Bratunac, CPCD, SUMERO, Democratic Youth Movement, Partner Tuzla, Youth Association REaktiv Zenica, Friends of Srebrenica, Historical Museum Sarajevo, NGO altruista Svjetlost, Association of families and persons with developmental difficulties Dajte nam Ĺˇansu, Sarajevo Open Centre, Helsinki Committee in RS, YiHR BiH, Association of Golden badge recipients of University of Sarajevo, Association Glas Isto?no Sarajevo and Institute for Youth Development KULT.
The program Strengthening institutional capacity of USAID partners in BiH is implemented by the Institute for Youth Development KULT.