Handicap International works in Tunisia to make public buildings and services accessible, while at the same time supporting disabled people’s organisations and training them in advocacy skills.
© A. Vincens de Tapol / Handicap International
In 2008, Tunisia ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. However, there is a glaring lack of consideration of disability issues when formulating public policies. The number of disabled people’s organisations has grown considerably since the Arab Spring uprising in 2011 and Handicap International supports their efforts to advance the rights of people with disabilities. The organisation is coordinating the creation of a group able to effectively represent the interests of people with disabilities and propose changes to legislation that will encourage their inclusion (e.g. at school, in the workplace, and in society).
Handicap International also runs specific projects in the areas of inclusive employment and education.
Since the Arab Spring in 2011, Tunisia has been transitioning towards democracy. Disabled people’s organisations are seeking to build their capacity and ensure their voice is heard.
Before the Arab Spring revolution in 2011, Tunisia had been ruled by President Ben Ali for 23 years. The cause of people with disabilities was then used for political purposes rather than defended truthfully.
In the wake of the first free elections for decades and reforms to legislation on political parties and associations, a spirit of freedom has swept over Tunisian society. Community life is genuinely flourishing. Supporting these initiatives is essential in order to encourage the full participation of people with disabilities in society. For this reason Handicap International is focusing its efforts on building the knowledge and capacities of disabled people's organisations.