Shaheed El Hafed (Refugee Camps), December 3rd, 2015.
Statement on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
The International Day of Persons with Disabilities is annually held on December 3, in accordance with the UN General Assembly Resolution 47/3, in October 1992. The Sahrawi Association of Mine Victims (ASAVIM) extends its sincere congratulations on this day to all Sahrawis with disabilities, and avails itself of this opportunity to note what the Sahrawi state has achieved of significant gains for the benefit of disabled people without any discrimination, in the liberated zones and the refugee camps, despite the nature of displacement, exile, hardships, and scarcity of means.
The efforts being made by the Sahrawi state through its various extensions including the competent ministry are overwhelming evidence of the special importance attached to this category, thanks to the unwavering belief among the Sahrawi people in the principle of equal opportunities, to consecrate the principals of human rights with their special and comprehensive concepts, in line with the struggle message of the Sahrawi people.
We also note with deep appreciation the sincere efforts made by various national and international organizations and institutions of civil society in support of local efforts, at the level of the development of programs and plans aimed at enabling persons with disabilities to obtain full rights, and seeking to promote justice and equality in all aspects of social development, where their integration in the society is a vital gain in the political, social, economic, and cultural lives. The construction of various facilities and the establishment of mini and medium enterprises in exceptional circumstances for this category is the most overwhelming proof of this integration.
On this occasion, ASAVIM reiterates its unconditional solidarity with all Sahrawis with disabilities in the occupied territories, liberated zones and refugee camps, and call upon them to continue the struggle for the completion of all their legitimate rights, the freedom of the country and its people and the implementation of full peace, which are the principal rights and without them we would not enjoy, as individuals and people, any stability or development.
Consistent with the message of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, ASAVIM confirms the following:
The disability, which never prevented in the past Sahrawis with disabilities from engagement in all aspects of the struggle of the Sahrawi people, would not be a reason to preclude the full participation in the completion of the march of Sahrawi national struggle.
Hence, we request the Sahrawi state to make suitable the relevant international conventions, in which it is a member, with national legislations locally consistent with those treaties, by enacting legislation appropriate with the interim conditions and promotion of the fundamental rights of persons with disabilities.
We call on the concerned institutions to create a culture of partnership and develop various rehabilitation programs in quantity and quality in line with the increasing numbers of injuries and disabilities and to promote the spirit of collective and individual initiatives.
We also request the international organizations to support the participation of this category in the struggle for life through various projects and training workshops at the short and medium terms, and to put pressure on Morocco to sign and respect the international treaties in this regard.
Based on the above mentioned, ASAVIM seizes this opportunity to remind and alert the international community to the case of Sahrawis with disabilities in the occupied territories of Western Sahara by Morocco, who suffer serious problems as a result of the occupation, lack of means, denial of basic rights such as nursing and accompanying, and Moroccan continuous attacks on the Ibsar Association in the occupied city of El Aaiun and other Sahrawi cities. We demand end to discrimination and exclusion which they are exposed to by the Moroccan State.
In conclusion, ASAVIM confirms that this occasion is not a celebration but rather a serious call for genuine work for accompanying persons with disabilities, who are fathers, mothers and brothers of us, who accompanied us in this difficult and long march of struggle and remain resolute, no doubt we recognize their capabilities, qualifications and high morale which should be invested to improve the efforts made, in recognition of their steadfastness by reconsidering the legislative arrangements to go with the efforts that have been made by the Sahrawi state since several years ago, especially on the eve of the 14th Congress of the Polisario Front.