We wonder how many more times must the alarm bell ring about the living conditions people with disabilities face, for the Anastasiades government to become aware.
The separate needs of people with disabilities cannot be addressed only with the leveling policy applied by the Minimum Guaranteed Income, given that the report released by “Eurostat” as regards Cyprus reveals that: – One in two people with disabilities in Cyprus, or 52.2%, are unable to cover their expenses, while 24.8% of people with disabilities are behind in paying their utility bills, rents, etc. – 57.3% of people with disabilities are unable to meet unexpected financial costs. – 62.1% of people with disabilities are unable to afford one week of holidays within a year.
The Anastasiades government has been warned numerous times. These warnings were either highlighted in the Reports released by “Eurostat” which, in its reports, ranks Cyprus as having the worst position in the table with regards spending on people with disabilities.
These Reports also stressed the inadequacy of structures to provide care for people with disabilities. Warnings that were reflected in the dozens of negative comments made by the UN on the way the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is implemented.
These warnings were reflected in the cries of despair from the movement of disabled persons. Unfortunately, people with disabilities are not among the category of the privileged few to be able to enjoy privileged treatment by the Anastasiades government.
The inadequacy of the welfare state and the absence of a comprehensive plan and measures to provide support are leading people with disabilities to poverty, which constitutes a violation of their human rights and dignity.
The needs of people with disabilities cannot be ensured only through the implementation of the Minimum Guaranteed Income policy based on benefits. The immediate implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is demanded, as well as the approval of separate legislation to meet the needs of each disability. Strategic planning and the implementation of social protection programs is required with a view to integrating disabled people into society and by raising their quality of life.
AKEL will continue to support with all its strength the struggle of people with disabilities for a society that will ensure a life with dignity for all.
Press statement by the Social Affairs Bureau of the C.C. of AKEL The absence of measures to provide support for people with disabilities is leading them to poverty AKEL C.C. Press Office, 25th October 2019, Nicosia