JEDDAH: The rising number of armed conflicts in many Arab states highlighted the urgent need to create protective laws for the disabled, an international conference in Cairo was told.
Dr. Nasriya Baghdadi, director of civil society organizations in the Arab League, said that violent conflicts were hindering Arab states’ abilities to absorb growing numbers of people with special needs.
Intervention operations were also harder, in addition to the challenges facing less-developed countries, she said.
Baghdadi’s comments came during her opening address at the first international conference on support, education and care for people with disabilities in Arab countries.
The event started on Sunday and was organized by the League of Arab States.
Baghdadi’s address focused on creative initiatives aimed at integrating disabled people in political, cultural and social life.
“Arab leaders committed themselves to the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development during the Arab Summit held in Mauritania in 2016, where independent and effective goals related to people with special needs were added,” she said.
The league had launched the Arab guiding law for protection of the disabled, she said, adding that “many Arab countries implemented the initiative’s articles.”
Saudi Arabian representatives presented two working papers at the conference.
Jassem Mohammed Al-Mutairi, the conference secretary-general, delivered a paper titled “Entrepreneurship and its relationship with people with special needs,” while Ahmed Mohammed Al-Saadi, president of the Saudi Family Guidance Forum, discussed “The role of families in developing the talents of disabled people.”
Mohammad Abo Adela, chairman of the Jordanian Al-Ezwa Association for Social Development, told the forum that “the integration process of people with special needs in Arab societies is still modest. People still see disability as a problem for the families of disabled individuals only.”