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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 September 2018

Sharjah wins global honour for being disabled rights champion

The emirate will be named an Accessible City for the Physically Disabled at a United Nations event

Sharjah is to be honoured for its eforts to support people with disabilities. Pawan Singh / The National
Sharjah is to be honoured for its eforts to support people with disabilities. Pawan Singh / The National

Sharjah is in line for a prestigious international honour as it gets set to be crowned a champion for the disabled.

The emirate will be named the "Accessible City for the Physically Disabled" by the World Federation of the Disabled as part of The World Cities Day celebrations in New York on October 31.

World Cities day is an annual event set up by the United Nations to promote urban development across the globe.

Major General Saif Al Zari Al Shamsi, commander-in-chief of Sharjah Police, was among the leading figures in the emirate to laud the achievement.

"The aim is to emphasise the utmost importance attached to this vital segment of society, support their role in community building, and provide them with job opportunities that suit their abilities, as well as to develop infrastructure to ensure their freedom of movement and access to any services they require at various police facilities," he said.

"The title is a tribute to Sharjah in particular, and the UAE and Arab region in general. It is also an international testimony to the great human dimension of the Arab experience in caring for the physically disabled, safeguarding their rights and enhancing their participation in building society and achieving sustainable development by turning them into a productive force that contributes to progress and construction."

Thabit Salem Al-Tarifi, director General of Sharjah Municipality, said the emirate has introduced a number of initiatives to successfully break down barriers and open up access for the disabled, including providing wheelchair access to all municipality buildings and parks and giving free entrance to public parks to disabled people and their families.

The Resource Centre for Persons with Disabilities was also established in the emirate back in 2013 and continues to play a key role in empowering people with disabilities.

A World Federation of the Disabled regional office also takes pride of place in Sharjah, with staff overseeing field visits to all government organisations to help them to ensure their buildings meet the needs of all members of society.

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