Govt urged to commit actions for empowerment of youth with disabilities

By Our Correspondent
May 30, 2024
Tanzila Khan (left), founder of "Girly Things", an application-based start-up which provides delivery service for women related products, works at a desk at the National Incubation Centre (NIC), a start-up incubator, in Lahore. — AFP/File

Islamabad: Sightsavers’ Equal World campaign says without immediate, radical and inclusive actions, and underrepresented voices of youth with disabilities not being heard, these goals will be failed.


Ahead of the upcoming UN summit, Sightsavers has launched a campaign in Pakistan to call on government to commit to disability-inclusive and specific accelerated actions for economic empowerment of youth with disabilities in line with the aims of the Summit of the Future, says a press release.

In September 2024 world leaders will come together for the Summit of the Future in New York, to accelerate progress of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These global goals aim to reduce poverty and inequality by 2030, but with the deadline looming and 50% of time gone, only 12% of targets have been met.

Munazza Gillani, director Pakistan and Middle East has expressed her commitment to this and said, “I would like to emphasise the critical importance of advocating for the rights of youth with disabilities in the context of the upcoming UN Summit of the Future. This summit presents a unique opportunity to address the challenges faced by young people with disabilities and to ensure their full inclusion and participation in shaping the future. At Sightsavers, we believe that every individual, regardless of their abilities, deserves equal rights and opportunities to thrive and contribute to society”.

She urged all stakeholders, including governments, civil society organisations, and the private sector, to prioritise the rights of youth with disabilities in their discussions and actions leading up to the UN Summit of the Future. Sightsavers aims to enhance its initiatives for empowering youth with disabilities economically. This involves advocating with governmental bodies to prioritize this issue at the highest levels, driving policy dialogues, and instigating policy reforms for greater inclusivity and support.

Futuremakers programme, as well as its well established platform like Pakistan Business Disability Network and Innovation Challenge Futuremakers work towards enhancing economic empowerment of youth with disabilities. Equal World campaign is calling on UN member states to ensure a disability-inclusive future, and to contribute specific and actionable commitments on disability. The campaign also calls for the member states to encourage the participation of young people with disabilities in national and global discussions on the Summit of the Future.