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Romania: Disabled

Volume 485: debated on Tuesday 16 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has made an assessment of the treatment of disabled people in (a) Romania and (b) the Philippines. (242578)

Romania has come a long way in its treatment of disabled children in the 20 years since the fall of Ceausescu. But problems do remain. EU funds are being used to help accelerate reforms. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister launched an initiative with the Romanian Prime Minister a year ago, sharing best practice on treatment of disabled children in Romania. Our embassy in Bucharest is in regular contact with the Romanian authorities and non governmental organisations and takes every opportunity to help raise public awareness of disability issues.

We have not made an assessment of the treatment of disabled people in the Philippines and have no current plans to do so. The Philippine government has declared its commitment to improve the situation of persons with disabilities and declared 2003-12 the Decade of Persons with Disabilities. Legislation exists to protect the rights of people with disabilities and ensure equal opportunities, including the Accessibility Law and the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons. However, overall levels of poverty and limited government resources mean that the majority of people with disabilities, particularly in rural areas, lack access to programmes and benefits designed to support them.