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Iohannis: Romania progress on inclusion of people with disabilities - a fact, yet important steps still required

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Klaus Iohannis Sorin Grindeanu

In a message on the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, President Klaus Iohannis states that Romania has made progress on the social and economic inclusion of people with disabilities, but points out that important steps still need to be taken, agerpres reports.

"Today, our attention is directed to the people with disabilities in Romania whom the state must ensure a life in accordance with respect for human rights, values, freedoms and human dignity. The International Day of Persons with Disabilities is an occasion for us all to strongly condemn all forms of discrimination and social exclusion of disabled persons. Disability rather reflects the way society reacts to certain individual features, and people with disabilities make an active contribution to the development of society when they benefit from its support," the President says in his message.

He goes on to point out that the COVID-19 pandemic has raised a "new barrier to developing and ensuring the well-being of persons with disabilities, fueling inequalities and exacerbating existing problems".

President Iohannis emphasizes that education, health, social protection, mobility, labor market integration, social participation are just some of the areas where Romania's people with disabilities face major difficulties and that they can only be overcome through a joint effort by all responsible actors.

"The involvement of organizations representing people with disabilities, the implementation of consistent measures and the development of independent monitoring mechanisms through awareness-raising campaigns on the rights of people with disabilities are essential in overcoming the difficult situations they face. Also, we must make sure that every child is integrated into the education system and that every person has the possibility to get a job tailored to their needs. Profound changes will only come to life when each of us personally embraces the belief that we are all different but equal. Everyone can contribute to the development of society if there are no limits set on them and are encouraged to do so," Iohannis notes.

The head of the state cautions that the fight against discrimination and marginalization, the protection of rights and freedoms must stay a priority for the Romanian state.

"Romania has made progress as regards the social and economic inclusion of people with disabilities, but we still have important steps to take. The fight against discrimination and marginalization, in addition to the protection of rights and freedoms, and the development of levers for ensuring a decent living must continue to be a priority for the Romanian state. A functional society is a tolerant, inclusive society that shows solidarity, where human rights and dignity are absolute values. Any deviation from these principles is fundamentally wrong and must be publicly condemned in order to not allow the generation of other reprehensible manifestations," President Iohannis says.

The head of the state reaffirms his staunch commitment to supporting all efforts to protect and promote the rights of persons with disabilities, to combat discrimination and abuse of all kinds and to ensure a fair standard of living.

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