As a concerned citizen of this country, I strongly urge our government to recognize the rights of persons with disabilities and hold perpetrators accountable.
I am deeply saddened to learn that in West Honiara, a 40-year-old man has sexually abused a young girl with disability who has become pregnant as a result. This outrageous and abhorrent behaviour should not be treated lightly nor entertained in our communities.
It is disheartening to also learn that the justice system has failed, yet again, to adequately investigate and punish the perpetrator. Laws should be passed in parliament to protect persons with disabilities, especially women and girls with disabilities, from being exploited, sexually and physically abused. Right now, there is no specific law to protect them and who knows when another young woman or girl with disability will become the next victim.
Our government is a signatory to the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of Persons with Disability and therefore has an obligation to protect their rights. This man’s act is a gross violation of the girl’s right to freedom from exploitation, violence and abuse (Article 16). Persons with disabilities do not enjoy the same level of security as an abled person. They are more vulnerable to the different forms of violence and abuse.
Therefore, I call on our Government and relevant authorities to pass laws to protect the rights of persons with disabilities, to ensure their freedom and to protect them from any forms of violence and abuse.
USP SI Campus.