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الأخبار : مقالة

Promoting autism awareness: the role of NHRIs

الجرافيك Members of the Oman Human Rights Commission during the webinar on autism

In partnership with the Oman Human Rights Commission (OHRC), the APF hosted a webinar on the rights of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) from the perspective of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs).

The virtual event, held on 2 April to mark World Autism Awareness Day, brought together representatives from NHRIs, the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), civil society organisations and the research sector. 

Discussions focused on strategies to enhance support for individuals with autism, including unified approaches, legislative advancements, and public awareness campaigns.

According to the World Health Organization, ASD affects 1 in 100 children globally, underscoring the importance of early detection and support. The webinar aimed to address this by fostering a deeper understanding of autism and promoting social support for individuals with ASD and their families.

Oman, a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, has been proactive in promoting the rights of individuals with disabilities, including those with autism. However, challenges remain, particularly in providing adequate support and raising awareness in society.

In her opening address, Maryam bint Abdullah al Attiyah, GANHRI Chairperson, highlighted the significance of addressing autism within the human rights framework. 

"Autism spectrum disorder stands as one of the priorities in the GANHRI and OHCHR programmes,” she said. “The role of NHRIs encompasses bolstering policies aimed at legislative advancement and advocating for and aiding the most vulnerable segments of society.” 

Dr. Rashid bin Hamad al Balushi, Chairman of the OHRC, emphasised the importance of collaboration in protecting human rights, reaffirming OHRC's commitment to advancing the rights of people with autism. 

In his address, Kieren Fitzpatrick, APF Director, underscored the need for equal rights for individuals with autism, and the role that NHRIs can play in advocating for their rights. He also highlighted the importance of understanding the challenges faced by individuals with autism.

The webinar included presentations from researchers and people with lived experience of ASD, including Ms Zahra Al Lawati, a civil society representative and a mother of a child with autism. She discussed some of the challenges facing people with autism and their families, including the associated social, financial, and educational costs.  

Dr. Khalid al Muqrashi, an Omani academic professor, delivered a comprehensive presentation on understanding ASD and its societal implications. He emphasised the importance of inclusivity and empowerment for individuals with autism and their families.

The webinar served as a platform for dialogue and collaboration, affirming a commitment to promoting the rights and wellbeing of individuals with autism.

Date: 10 April 2024

مصادر الصورة

  1. Members of the Oman Human Rights Commission during the webinar on autism - Oman Human Rights Commission