The SOCIEUX programme, a European Union initiative for social protection in development cooperation in which the FIIAPP collaborates, supports the Colombian Department of Cundinamarca in formulating a disability policy.
Over the next several months, this initiative will support the Secretariat of Health of this Colombian department to develop a policy that guarantees the social inclusion of persons with disabilities, approximately 6% of region’s total population. This assistance consists of missions or study visits by experts on the subject.
The first took place between 1st and 5th December last year in Bogota with the objective of verifying the data provided on the situation of the disabled in the department and the existing assistance programmes, as well as the institutional network that will participate in formulating the policy. To do this, meetings at the national level were held with the Ministry of Health and Social Protection and the National Council on Disability, and also at the departmental and municipal levels with the leadership of the Departmental Committee on Disability, recently formed within the Secretariat of Health.
This mission included the participation of experts like Mercedes Jaraba, from the Directorate-General for Policies to Support Disability of the Spanish Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality; and Ignacio Velo, Director of International Programmes and Projects of the ONCE Foundation. According to the experts, this activity served to confirm the difficulties faced by persons with disabilities in the department: discrimination, inadequate healthcare and barriers to educational, occupational and physical inclusion.
“Likewise, it’s necessary to transfer the transversal aspect to all administrative sectors, so that all of them internalize the idea that actions aimed at disability are not isolated and individualized actions, but rather that they must be present in the day-to-day work of any administration”, recommend the experts.
The Disability Policy of the department of Cundinamarca represents the first in the country to adopt the commitment of the National Public Policy on Disability and Social Inclusion in Colombia, published in 2013 after ratification of the United National Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which ensures all human rights and fundamental liberties for all persons with disabilities on the basis of equality.