A young lawyer and activist Ellington Kabui, from People with Disability Solomon Islands joined the British High Commissioner for a Day programme to advocate for People with Disabilities in Solomon Islands.
Ellington found this a great experience stating “It was my first time to be High Commissioner for a Day and a lifetime opportunity for me to be advocating for people with disabilities in Solomon Islands.” To mark International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3rd December 2023, the British High Commission in Honiara invited Mr Kabui to be its High Commissioner for the Day to work together on disability inclusion and rights of persons with disability.
According to Ellington, his engagements, though short and brief, were very fruitful and in fact inspired him to do more for People with Disabilities Solomon Islands.
“Part of the day’s programme involved meeting with Justice Howard Lawry and we’ve discussed access to justice especially when it comes to people with disability issues and also employment in the area of justice and the courts. There, we basically went through what normally happens in court in terms of criminal and civil proceedings,” he said.
Our High Commissioner for the Day also had the opportunity to have met the Attorney General of Solomon Islands, John Muria Junior, where they discussed the domestication of the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.
“It was a very fruitful discussion especially his advice on how to go about domesticating the CRPD.” Among those he met that day was also the Australian High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, His Excellency Rod Hilton, with whom Mr Kabui discussed employment, education and infrastructure development.
“We discussed issues on employment, education and infrastructure development as well as the political rights of people with disabilities especially on how they would exercise that during an election and their political participation in the country.” Mr Kabui who worked at the People with Disability Solomon Islands was happy to be able to discuss disabled rights with a great range of people. “What inspired me throughout the one day programme was the willingness and humility of the people I met, having the heart to sit down and listen to our discussions. They have also enlightened me on how to do things so it was a fruitful one day programme.”
The People with Disability activist sees himself in five years still working with the People with Disability Solomon Islands to take the organisation forward.
British High Commissioner to Solomon Islands and Nauru, His Excellency Thomas Cowards said: “Approximately 1.3 billion people, 16% of the world’s population, have a disability. Throughout the world people with disabilities face disadvantages. They are less likely to have a job or to complete education, more likely to be poor and experience poor health outcomes and are at greater risk of violence.
The UK has a strong record of championing disability inclusion on the global stage and we were delighted to work with Ellington and a range of close partners to support Solomon Islands in advancing rights for people with disabilities.” -END
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