Norway has urged government to improve disability rights by strengthening implementation of legislation and policies which it has signed if the rights of children with disabilities are to be realised.
Norway outgoing ambassador Asbjorn Eidhammer said at a farewell function with Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare in Lilongwe last week that his government would continue to support implementation of relevant disability laws and policies such as mainstreaming disability issues in the public sector.
In 2006, the government adopted the National Policy on Equalisation of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities, signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2009 and enacted the Disability Act in 2012.
But Eidhammer appealed to government to address the issue of resources towards the ministry and other government departments which deal with the matter to ensure speedy and efficient implementation.
“Legislation is there, but now there is need for commitment and resources to implement these policies,” he said.
On her part, Minister of Gender Patricia Kaliati commended the Norwegian Government for its assistance in helping the Malawi government to ensure rights of people with disabilities are realised through a community-based rehabilitation programme in Blantyre, Balaka, Machinga and Mzimba.
But the minister asked Norway to roll out to more districts the project which addresses needs of persons with disabilities in areas of education, health, social inclusion and empowerment.