Vanuatu National Disability Inclusive Development Policy 2018-2025

This document contains the full Text of the Policy.

Persons with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual, or sensory impairments, which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others. Disability may be experienced by people of any age – children, young and older people.

Everyone is entitled to the same rights and freedoms, regardless of their disability status. This is a fundamental principle of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which Vanuatu ratified in 2008. However, persons with disabilities often lack equitable access to the same opportunities enjoyed by their peers without disabilities. Barriers such as negative attitudes and stigma, an inaccessible built environment, and exclusionary policies can restrict persons with disabilities from enjoying their rights to education, health care, employment and other opportunities.

Disability inclusive development is both a process and an outcome. The purpose of disability inclusive development is to realize an inclusive society that values diversity and engages persons with disabilities as participating members of society with equal rights. The disability inclusive development approach brings the disability perspective into all elements of national and community development. It assesses and strengthens institutions, policies and programs so that they better take into account, and positively impact on, the lives of persons with disabilities.

This policy aspires to be a guiding document for disability inclusive development that will build on achievements made under the Vanuatu National Disability Policy 2008 – 2015. This policy acknowledges the central role persons with disabilities across all islands and communities have as active participants in determining and achieving their rights. The policy sets ambitious goals, which will guide the efforts of all stakeholders, who will work together to maximise resources and efficiencies to support progress towards these goals in a resource-constrained environment.

The Vanuatu National Disability Inclusive Development Policy 2018 – 2025 activates the commitments the Government of Vanuatu has made by ratifying the CRPD, and throughout Vanuatu 2030: the Peoples Plan, to improve the quality of life of persons with disabilities in Vanuatu wherever they are.