Disability - A peace issue

War and violence are the main reasons for most of the acquired mental and disability cases worldwide.

War and violence are the main reasons for most of the acquired mental and disability cases worldwide. When people fight each other over land disputes, political positions and economic dominance, the results are a depressed people, a bad economy and a raise in the reported cases of physical injuries. Some physical and mental injuries are permanent and life is no longer the same for the affected.

Civil rights and human rights play a big role in the prevention of the emerging of both personal, family, community, national and worldwide wars. One of the key functions of the movements that represent Persons with Disabilities today is fighting violence and working for peace for the benefit of those with disabilities and protecting the rest of mankind from acquiring disabilities. This movements are a strong and effective voice that raise effective public awareness against supporting wars and stirring conflicts.  It should be noted that not only do the movements that represent Persons with Disabilities champion and fight for the rights of Persons With Disabilities but also for the rights of the marginalized groups in the society including women, ethnic groups, the elderly, orphans, street children and families and  discriminated races.

The disability movements, that voice that fight and champion for the implementation of the existing rights for Persons with Disabilities, need to be empowered to become strong pressure groups that have the ability to influence the change of laws and introduce new guidelines and regulations favorable to the Persons with Disabilities. This movements should be involved when matters affecting Persons with Disabilities are on the table as they are endowed and versed with experiences and knowledge of Persons with Disabilities. The disability movements should be empowered in order to have a larger capacity to resolve conflicts by negotiations, democracy, the spirit of tolerance and openness. Strong civil rights legislations for Persons with Disabilities should be made in every nation so as to empower the disability movements. When empowered, the welfare of Persons with Disabilities and that of the marginalized groups in the society will no longer be confined to the politics of care and institutionalization as some present legislations confine them to dependency instead of championing for independent living.

In conclusion, peace starts at an individual level. It starts with me! Most Wars and conflicts are driven by selfish emotional drives such as revenge and anger. To resolve conflicts, let us adopt ways such as negotiations and arbitration which can be done by disability movements when empowered to avoid the shed of blood and an increase in the population of people with physical disabilities.

Naomi Gachanja


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