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NewsProtect PWDs participating in voter registration exercise - EC, Police told


Protect PWDs participating in voter registration exercise – EC, Police told


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

The call comes in response to reported incidents of violence at some registration centers, particularly in Kukuom (Ahafo region), Cape Coast (Central region), and Adugyama (Ashanti region).

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While acknowledging that the exercise has been generally peaceful nationwide, the GFD expressed concern that such incidents could intimidate PwDs and deter them from participating in the registration process.

“The news as reported by some media outlets, falls short of informing the public about the safety measures to assure persons with disabilities to participate in the process,” said the federation.

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“The GFD wishes to call on the security agencies and the Electoral Commission to prioritise the safety of vulnerable groups, including persons with disabilities at all times during the registration process,” the federation said in a statement signed and issued by its national president, Joseph Atsu Hormadzi.

“Persons with disabilities are deemed to be greatly affected in situations of emergencies and violence. The current atmosphere of violence at registration centres is a crucial factor that can lead to the disenfranchisement of persons with disabilities and other marginalised groups, thereby jeopardising their right to participate in the upcoming 2024 general election,” it said.

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The federation said: “Ghana as a state party to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), particularly under Article 29, must guarantee the safety and equal rights of persons with disabilities to access political opportunities devoid of obstacles.”

“It needs to be emphasised that inclusion is not just a fundamental human right, but also essential for the sustainable development of Ghana under the principle of “Leaving No One Behind,” it stressed.

The Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations (GFD) strongly condemned the recent violence reported at several voter registration centers, expressing deep concern about its impact on persons with disabilities (PwDs) who have consistently faced barriers to their political participation.

The GFD emphasized that political violence has been a significant deterrent for PwDs, hindering their ability to exercise their right to vote. The federation highlighted the urgent need for intervention to ensure that PwDs are not excluded from the electoral process, as this would violate their fundamental human rights.

Calling on all stakeholders, including political party leaders, the GFD urged for immediate action to create a safe and secure environment for PwDs at registration centers. The federation emphasized that political promises of inclusion are meaningless without tangible efforts to protect PwDs’ lives and ensure their full participation.

The GFD reaffirmed its commitment to advocating for the rights and inclusion of PwDs in all aspects of society, urging collaborative efforts from all stakeholders to uphold the rights of every citizen, including persons with disabilities.

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