International day of the Disabled: Malta strives against prejudice

3 December marks the International Day of Disabled Persons. Today, Prime Minister Robert Abela, Opposition Leader Bernard Grech and the Chairman of the Commission for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Oliver Scicluna talked about discrimination and prejudice towards persons with disabilities. .

Oliver Scicluna talked about the importance of more awareness towards ‘invisible disabilities’. He said that unfortunately stereotypes lead people to build prejudices. He said a healthy society is one which is built on mutual respect and stressed that human beings deserved respect not just a white stick or a wheelchair.

Opposition Leader Bernard Grech said that although there are those who manage to overcome their disability and move forward, there are others who need help. He said we all had a duty to do our part for everyone to progress.

Prime Minister Robert Abela said that this day provided an opportunity to reflect on the rights of a group of people within our society whose voices were easily disregarded or left out of the national debate. He said that this was a very varied group of people, apart from the fact that every person with a disability has his own story, there were also many conditions or diseases that were life endangering. There were even those who do not appear to have a condition and ended up a victim of prejudice. He stressed that the last thing they needed was for their fellow Maltese and Gozitans to continue to hold them back.