In 2003, the European Union promoted the European Year of Persons with Disability under the slogan: “NOTHING ABOUT US, WITHOUT US”. One of the results achieved in the European Year is the European Commission Action Plan for Disability, which is focused on the implementation of equal rights and opportunities for persons with disability in Europe.
In September 2006 in Sankt Petersburg (Russia), The Council of Europe promoted the Action Plan for Disability (2006-2015).
Several months later, on 13th of December 2006, in the headquarters of United Nations in New York, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was adopted.
These three documents demonstrate the need for shift of paradigm in the society and the change in the approach of the citizens, authorities and politicians towards persons with disability. It is a change that leads from segregation towards inclusion, a change which focus is given on recognizing the possibilities and abilities, and not on persons’ disability. The consequences are extremely important, and the challenges are enormous.
PORAKA, as a member of Inclusion Europe, Inclusion International and EASPD – European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities, was included in passing these significant acts that lead towards equal opportunities and full participation of persons with disability in the society as equal citizens. PORAKA delivers these initiatives in the Republic of Macedonia and contributes for actualization of the need from immediate and effective admission and implementation of these international documents.
Following the principles of 2007 – European Year of Equal Opportunities for All, within the national campaign for promotion of equality for persons with intellectual disability “Through DIFFERENCE to EQUALITY in the society”, PORAKA in 2007 continues to act concerning improvement of the legal frame which regulates the rights of persons with intellectual disability, with special focus on social protection and social security. The Proposal for passing a Law for Social Protection and Social Security (we informed about this Proposal in the previous issue of the news-letter) entered the procedure for adoption by the Parliament, but the text of this proposal-law does not at all bring significant changes that would provide social security and better future for persons with intellectual disability and their families.
Therefore, PORAKA continues to actively lobby the parliamentary groups in the Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia regarding changing and supplementing the text of the proposal – law and incorporation of the proposals made by PORAKA in relation to introducing new rights and increasing/enlarging the existing rights for persons with intellectual disability.