The UN integrated support mission in Sierra Leone (UNIOSIL) has warned that some families of disabled people are abusing and neglecting their less-privileged relatives.
According to a press release to mark International Day of Families today, UNIOSIL says, “for many persons with disabilities, their family has been, and remains, a source of empowerment while for others their family has perhaps been overprotective, restricting their growth as individuals.” The release continues that “Tragically, for others still, their family has viewed them with stigma or shame, and has even become a source of abuse and neglect.”
The day, set aside by the UN general Assembly, has as its theme this year, “Families and Persons with Disabilities”.
In December 2006, the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the first human rights treaty of the 21st century.
In its preamble, the Convention says that the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society, and is entitled to protection by society and the State.
It also states that persons with disability and their families should receive protection and assistance so that families can contribute towards the full and equal enjoyment of the rights of persons with disability.