Low presence of people with special needs in municipal councils
06/12/2018 18:29, TUNIS/Tunisia

(TAP) - President of the "Ibssar" association of leisure and culture for the blind and visually impaired Mohamed Mansouri said despite the laws put in place in Tunisia for people with disabilities, officials merely consider them as an electoral bloc.

Nearly 1,800 people with disabilities have submitted their candidatures for the 2018 municipal elections, but only 153 have been elected, including three presidents of municipalities out of a total of 350, he told TAP, on the sidelines of the first regional symposium on "people with disabilities and management of local affairs in the northern region", held Thursday in Tunis, by the Higher Committee on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

This lack of representativeness (153 municipal councilors with disabilities out of a total of 7000 municipal councilors) is due to poor legal training and the lack of means of communication, he regretted.

The participation of persons with disabilities in public affairs depends on the practical implementation of the laws facilitating the participation of this group in political and public life, he said, calling for strengthening the capacity of persons with disabilities to become active actors in their environment.

For her part, the regional representative of the Danish Institute for Human Rights said the institute is working through this event to strengthen national human rights systems by assessing the gaps; this is done through meetings with national actors, she pointed out.

She also called for implementing the five Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set out in the 2030 Agenda, targeting people with disabilities, including the right to equality in education, economic development and social and political inclusion.

This conference was an opportunity to present the experiences of people with disabilities, members of municipal councils, including those of Saida Ghanmi, councillor in Menzel Bourguiba (Bizerte), Béchir Ghrayri, councillor in Ghardimaou (Jendouba) and Raoudha Romdhani, municipal councillor in Medjez El Bab (Beja).

This event is part of the observance of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities and the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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