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Politics of Thursday, 16 May 2024



GFD calls for safety of persons with disabilities in voter registration

Joseph Atsu Hormadzi, the national president for the GF Joseph Atsu Hormadzi, the national president for the GF

The Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations (GFD) has urged the Electoral Commission (EC) and the Ghana Police Service to ensure the safety of persons with disabilities (PwDs) during the ongoing voter registration exercise across the country.

The call comes in response to reported incidents of violence at some registration centers, which the federation believes could intimidate PwDs and discourage their participation, according to a Graphic Online report.

Despite the overall peaceful nature of the exercise, isolated cases of violence in places like Kukuom in the Ahafo Region, Cape Coast, and Adugyama in the Ashanti Region are concerning for the GFD.

The federation emphasized that news reports often fail to highlight safety measures, which are crucial for reassuring PwDs and encouraging their engagement in the registration process.

Joseph Atsu Hormadzi, the national president of the GFD, emphasized the vulnerability of persons with disabilities in situations of emergencies and violence.

He noted that the current atmosphere of violence at registration centers could disenfranchise PwDs and other marginalized groups, jeopardizing their right to participate in the upcoming 2024 general election.

As a party to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), Ghana is obligated to ensure the safety and equal rights of persons with disabilities, particularly in accessing political opportunities.

The GFD stressed that inclusion is not only a fundamental human right but also essential for the sustainable development of Ghana under the principle of "Leaving No One Behind."

The GFD condemned the reported violence and expressed deep concern about its escalation, as persons with disabilities consistently identify political violence as a major barrier to their participation.

The federation called on all duty-bearers, including political party leaders, to take concrete steps to ensure a safe and secure environment for PwDs at registration centers, emphasizing that political manifestos with promises of inclusion must be backed by action to safeguard the lives of persons with disabilities.