Handicap International is working to ensure that the most vulnerable groups, which include children and adults with disabilities, are properly cared for and included in Algerian society. To achieve this, it is crucial that their rights and needs are recognised.
© A. Vincens de Tapol / Handicap International
Handicap International works with children with disabilities in Algeria to improve the care they receive, both in specialist institutions, and within the mainstream school system. The organisation is running pilot projects to meet these objectives in Setif and Tizi Ouzou. Parents, the media, and education stakeholders are given awareness raising sessions on the universal right to education (all children have the right to attend school) and teachers receive training in inclusive teaching and learning techniques (methods to enable children with disabilities to follow lessons).
The organisation also supports disabled people’s organisations to help ensure their voice is heard by local and public authorities, in the same way as other civil society organisations. In the eastern wilayas (provinces) of Batna, Constantine, Mila, Oum El Bouaghi and Setif, Handicap International and its local partners makes sure that the rights of orphaned children with disabilities are respected.
Handicap International also works in southern Algeria with the Sahrawi refugees. The organisation improves the accessibility of rehabilitation care for people with disabilities as well as the access to education for children with disabilities living in refugee camps.
Though the status and public perception of people with disabilities is changing in Algeria, their inclusion in society remains unsatisfactory.
Since the country gained its independence, the Algerian government has pursued a determined social policy, mindful among other things of the need to protect disabled and/or the most vulnerable children and teenagers. For this reason, the Algerian government ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child on 19th December 1992, along with the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in May 2009. Although the public perception of disability is changing, the inclusion of disabled people into civil society and application of legislation to protect them is still far from satisfactory.