Middle East, Misc., January 13 2020

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: The UAE Cabinet approved a new policy to protect those with disabilities from abuse. The initiative is intended to empower people of determination by giving them a platform to report cases of ill-treatment.

With inclusion at its heart, the policy will enable them to “participate effectively within a safe community environment” that guarantees their “right to a dignified life”, state news agency Wam reported.

Group of persons cheering

The new policy aims to empower and protect those with disabilities. Reem Mohammed / The National

Global statistics indicate that adults and children with mental or physical disabilities face a higher risk of violence and abuse than their non-disabled peers.

The social, financial, psychological and emotional consequences of incapacity and impairment can be devastating.

Common forms of abuse include a lack of access to medical care and economic or financial abuse.

The latest move by the Cabinet reaffirms the country’s firm stance to protect disabled people from discrimination.

From enhanced opportunities in the workplace to greater social inclusion, authorities want to put the power back in their hands. Officials will also launch programmes across the country to support disabled people who have been victimised.

In 2017, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, launched the National Strategy for Empowering People with Disabilities. The six-part policy involved health and rehabilitation, education, employment, mobility, social protection and family empowerment.

Since then, a great deal has been done to promote the community across the Emirates. In December, the UAE opened its very first cafe run entirely by people with disabilities. The wheelchair-friendly Bee Cafe is in Abu Dhabi. In March, the capital also hosted the Special Olympics. It marked the first time the games had been held in the Middle East and North Africa.

Originally Published in The National