UN lauds participation of disabled voters in Sierra Leone elections

Tuesday, November 20, 2012
[PHOTO: UNifeed] 
Freetown, Sierra Leone: Sierra Leone held peaceful General Elections over the weekend.

The elections were the country's third since the end of its civil war, and the second since the withdrawal of the peacekeeping operation known as the UN Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) in December 2005. That mission was replaced by various other UN offices, most recently the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office (UNIPSIL), which focuses on political and development activities.

The UN Human Rights Office present in the country lauded the participation of persons with disabilities during the polls.

The polls were held under the backdrop of a newly enacted law on Persons with Disabilities which aimed at ensuring persons with disabilities enjoyed equal rights and participate in public life.

Last year the UN Human Rights Office published a report on the rights of persons with disabilities in Sierra Leone titled: "Moving Forward together; From National commitment to Concrete Action".

Beatriz Balbin, the head of Human Rights section of the UN mission the country said that the report recommended among other things full and effective political participation and inclusion on an equal basis of persons with disabilities.

To encourage persons with disabilities participate freely in the Elections provisions were made to give them easier access, mainly priority queues.
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