PAPUA New Guinea opposition leader Don Polye has slammed National Capital District Governor Powes Parkop for denying people living with disabilities rights to access facilities in Port Moresby.
A concerned Polye came out hard on the governor following the construction of three overhead bridges in the city without wheelchair ramps.
“Our fellow citizens with disabilities cannot access them,” he said.
“The governor always claims to be a human rights lawyer but he has failed to capture provisions in the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.”
The opposition leader said PNG is a party to the Convention and that it should honour this be eliminating barriers to people accessing facilities and amenities.
“We should have been at the forefront to promote and protect the rights and dignity of our disabled people,” Polye said.
“The denial is a slap in the face for these people.”
If his party was elected to government next year, Polye said it will promote, protect and include this group of people without discrimination.
He called on other leaders around PNG to promote accessibility for persons living with disabilities.
Writing in PNG Attitude this week, disabled author Francis Nii (pictured above) – currently visiting Australia – said that “one thing that amazed me more than anything else was the accessibility.
“At every street and pathway there was accessibility for a wheelchair. There was not one barrier where I could not push my wheelchair alone.
“Our hotels in Noosa and Brisbane, Noosa Blue and the Riverside Southbank, have rooms specifically designed for disabled people like me.
“It is government policy that every building or road constructed must be inclusive, meaning that it must be totally accessible and allow people in wheelchairs to travel unaided.
“I wish the Kondom Agaundo Building in my hometown of Kundiawa, and every other building and street in PNG, would have the same kind of inclusive facilities for disabled people,” Nii wrote.