Vice President U Henry Van Thio discusses post-COVID activities for PWDs

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Vice President U Henry Van Thio discusses post-COVID activities for PWDs

The National Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities held its first meeting for 2020 in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday.

Vice President U Henry Van Thio, in his capacity as the chairman of the committee, delivered a speech at the meeting held at the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, attended by union ministers, deputy ministers, members of the Nay Pyi Taw Council, regional and state ministers for social affairs, departmental officials, officials from the Myanmar Federation of Persons with Disabilities, representatives from organizations affiliated with persons living with disabilities (PLWDs), and other officials.


In his opening remark, the Vice President explained the government’s continuous efforts on protecting the rights of PWDs like other issues during the COVID-19 crisis, the use of special languages for PWDs and creation of video clips for the awareness programme for ensuring ‘right to information, access to information’ in Nay Pyi Taw Council area and other states and regions in collaboration with relevant organizations.

The Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement has coordinated the requests of the Emergency Response Joint Committee for COVID-19, comprising the Myanmar Federation of Persons with Disabilities and the organizations affiliated with persons living with disabilities (PLWDs) on these issues of low-income families of PWDs, those who were kept under home quarantine and facility quarantine, and the PWDs who were tested positive. The ministry has provided financial assistance to the PWDs in coordination with the joint committee.

The Vice President added a national-level meeting of employment opportunities for the PWDs will be held in the post- COVID-19 period.

Barrier-free infrastructures have been set up for PWDs at the Nay Pyi Taw Water Fountain Garden and the Myoma Market as these structures would be models for respective regions and states.

The hoteliers, tour agencies and the MFPD held a meeting on 3 March this year and decided to implement a ‘barrier-free tourism pilot project” .

The Deputy Minister for Information has managed to produce a report on the performance of the National Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities from 2017 to 2019, and its has been printed. It is a milestone of the present government. The committee has aimed to publish the report in the English version and annual report in upcoming years as the yearly report could support in preparing a document to be submitted to the UN’s Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Its provisions in the Concluding Observation released on 22 October 2019 is being implemented by the national committee. Collaboration and coordination of ministries, Hluttaws, region and state governments, organizations for the PWDs are required in the implementation, together with the participation of experts in education, health and legal sectors.

Myanmar is preparing for submitting second, third and fourth reports altogether to the UN’s Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on 7 January 2025. The report will include the recommendations and implementations on the concluding observations of the UN.

Myanmar has already presented an initial report to the UN committee in 2015. The pilot project for categorization and registration on the level of disabilities has been conducted in Hlinethaya, Nyaunglebin and Hpa-an townships beginning September last year. The project will be extended to Kya-in-Seikkyi township at the request of Kayin State government, in addition to the existing areas.

The government has decided to allocate K3 billion as capital for spending for the welfare of PWDs.

The Vice President also called for efforts to finalize the five-year strategic plan that links with the Myanmar Sustainable Development Plan which was based on the ASEAN Enabling Master Plan, and he finally suggested all the stakeholders contribute their financial and technical resources for effective implementation of the national committee.

Union Minister for Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement Dr Win Myat Aye, the vice-chairman of the national committee, discussed the COVID-19 measures for the PWDs, financial and relief aid for them, implementations for their rights, vocational trainings and employment opportunities for them.

U Aung Ko Myint, who is also the vice-chairman of the national committee, made discussions on drafting the laws of PWDs for easy connections with the various levels of governments.
Deputy Minister U Soe Aung, secretary of the national committee, presented the status of implementing the committee resolutions.

Union Minister for International Cooperation U Kyaw Tin briefed on the rights of PWDs, coordination with international organizations and preparations for the reports to be submitted to the UN. The committee members also discussed the status of work done for relevant sectors for PWDs.