Seychelles to improve lives of people with disabilities with Commonwealth assistance

22 November 2023
Seychelles to improve lives of people with disabilities with Commonwealth assistance

The Commonwealth Secretariat and the Government of Seychelles hosted a series of events in Victoria this month to boost progress on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which includes the right to live independently and education without discrimination based on disability.

A team from the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Human Rights Unit was in Seychelles from 13 to 17 November 2023 to facilitate a multi-stakeholder dialogue, a working session and a workshop in partnership with the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Family.

The dialogue brought together representatives from the country’s ministries, parliament, human rights commission, electoral commission, bureau of statistics and disabled people’s organisations to examine meaningful ways to include people with disabilities in policymaking and programme delivery in areas directly affecting them, such as education and independent living.

More efforts needed

Opening the dialogue, Hon Marie-Céline Zialor, Minister of Youth, Sports and Family, Seychelles, emphasised her government’s strong commitment to protecting the rights of persons with disabilities.

Acknowledging the need for increased efforts to achieve disability inclusion, she expressed appreciation to the Commonwealth Secretariat for its assistance in this critical area.

During the dialogue, Christine Winslow, a disability rights advocate, spoke about her ‘Ramp Up Rise Up’ campaign, which aims to raise awareness and dismantle accessibility barriers faced by wheelchair users.

Other delegates shared their personal experiences with societal barriers, including issues such as the lack of reasonable accommodations, while offering concrete recommendations to address them.

Training activities

After the dialogue, the Commonwealth Secretariat hosted a working session to train care home administrators and staff of the Ministry’s Elderly and Disabled Division.

The training focused on integrating human rights principles into care homes, including providing accessible and reasonable accommodation for older people with disabilities.

This session was followed by a two-day workshop, where staff of the Elderly and Disabled Division learned practical measures to implement specific provisions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, including those relating to data collection, awareness raising, health, exploitation, abuse and violence.

Building on the week-long engagements, the workshop concluded with a strategy development session, with participants identifying objectives, priorities and timelines for future strategies.

Key action areas identified by the participants for advancing the rights of people with disabilities included accessibility, training, and deepening coordination across government departments.

The series of events was shaped by a comprehensive needs assessment conducted by the Human Rights Unit in February 2022 to strengthen Seychelles’ national framework for protecting the rights of persons with disabilities.

Media contact

  • Snober Abbasi  Senior Communications Officer, Communications Division, Commonwealth Secretariat
  • T: +442077476168  |  E-mail