Thursday, 3 December 2009

National Assembly House Commemorates Disabled Persons Day

On the occasion of the International Day of Disabled Persons, 3 December, the National Assembly House was visited by representatives of organisations of special needs people.



On the occasion of the International Day of Disabled Persons, 3 December, the National Assembly House was visited by representatives of organisations of special needs people. They were welcomed by the National Assembly Deputy Speaker Nikola Novakovic and deputy Gordana Rajkov.

The guests were addressed by the Chairperson of the Poverty Reduction Committee, Snezana Stojanovic-Plavsic, Chairman of the Committee on Labour, Ex-Servicemen’s and Social Issues Meho Omerovic and Chairman of the European Integrations Committee Laszlo Varga.

Assembly Deputy Speaker Nikola Novakovic pointed out that the National Assembly’s legislative activity in the past several years greatly contributed to the improvement of the position of disabled persons. Among other things, the Assembly adopted the Anti-Discrimination Law and Law on Professional Rehabilitation and Employment of Disabled Persons. The National Assembly plays an important control role, Novakovic reminded, therefore it should concentrate on the implementation of the adopted laws in the upcoming period.

Chairman of the Committee on Labour, Ex-Servicemen’s and Social Issues Meho Omerovic pointed out that a list of international documents obligate the Serbian state and society to do all in their power to improve the position of disabled persons. He drew attention to the fact that 800 000 disabled persons live in Serbia, 22 438 of which are employed, and only 7 362 of them are women. Disabled persons are “Serbia’s largest minority”, often invisible to the rest of the society, that faces various types of discrimination, Omerovic pointed out.

Deputy Gordana Rajkov stressed that it was important to make the problems of disabled persons as visible as possible so that everyone may be made aware of their severity and resolve them more efficiently.

Chairperson of the Poverty Reduction Committee, Snezana Stojanovic-Plavsic stressed that about 70% of disabled persons in Serbia live in poverty, adding that local communities should play a greater role in assisting and improving the conditions in which they live and work.

Chairman of the European Integrations Committee Laszlo Varga talked about the National Assembly’s activities in the process of fulfilling Serbia’s “roadmap” to the European Union. He expressed a belief that at the end of the process all social groups would feel the positive effects of joining the EU, including disabled persons. It is essential to change the society’s awareness of the needs of disabled persons, Varga said, adding that the state and society should make more of an effort to ensure their inclusion and employment.

During the meeting, the representatives of disabled person’s organisations talked about the problems they face in their life and work, highlighting the need to pass a law on the association of these persons.



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