The EU remains fully committed to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its implementation. This commitment is reflected by the EU’s upcoming Strategy on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for the next decade.
Full, effective and meaningful participation of persons with disabilities in society and economic life on an equal basis with others is at the heart of the EU’s disability policies. Such participation, including participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport as laid out in article 30 of the Convention, is a strong indicator of the inclusiveness of our societies. The role of associations of persons with disabilities and civil society organisations is of paramount importance in this respect.
Participation of all persons in sports is central to unity and social integration, as well as an essential source of wellbeing.
Therefore, more needs to be done to remove barriers for that participation and to ensure that all kinds of sport events are accessible for persons with disabilities, whether to compete or to attend as spectators.
Participation of persons with disabilities in sport is promoted by the EU and its Member States through policy and programming. For instance, The Erasmus+ programme funds projects fostering inclusive and accessible events and initiatives and fighting discrimination in sports.
Training, awareness raising, accessibility of venues and facilities, provision of affordable assistive technologies continue being crucial measures, and most importantly, provide opportunities for children and youth, of all abilities, to take part in sports.
The question is: How could policy processes, funding programmes and awareness raising mechanisms better be leveraged to enhance participation of persons with disabilities in sports?
I thank you.