Popa: People with disabilities still face significant obstacles, they are at greater risk of poverty...

The Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare (MLSS) announced that Minister Naida Nišić and the Ambassador of the European Union to Montenegro Oana Kristina Popa visited the Center for Social Work in Tuzi.

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Pope, Photo: MRSS
Pope, Photo: MRSS
Disclaimer: The translations are mostly done through AI translator and might not be 100% accurate.

We are all aware that, despite some progress so far, people with disabilities still face significant obstacles and are at greater risk of poverty and social exclusion, said the Ambassador of the European Union to Montenegro, Oana Kristina Popa.

The Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare (MLSS) announced that Minister Naida Nišić and Popa visited the Center for Social Work in Tuzi today, on the occasion of the completion of the project "Improving accessibility to public institutions and centers for social work in Montenegro", which was implemented through the One-Year Action Program for Montenegro for 2018, as part of the action "Support to the rule of law and the fundamental rights sector".

Oana Kristina Popa, Naida Nišić
photo: MRSS

"Funds in the amount of EUR 606,088.60 were provided from the pre-accession funds of the European Union (IPA), which represents the continuous successful cooperation of the EU Delegation in Montenegro and the Government of Montenegro, as well as the continuity of EU support to Montenegro in the field of social policy," reads the statement of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.

In the announcement, it was added that Nišić expressed her satisfaction at attending the ceremonial opening of works on the adaptation of accessibility for persons with disabilities to the regional unit Tuza, within the JU Center for Social Work for the Capital City of Podgorica, and said that, apart from the funds allocated by Montenegro at the national level, for supporting people with disabilities with the aim of enabling them to be fully included in the life of the community to which they belong, the support of the European Union is also significant.

Oana Kristina Popa, Naida Nišić
photo: MRSS

"The mentioned project represents a major initiative of the Government of Montenegro aimed at improving the accessibility of public buildings for people with disabilities, which included 17 centers for social work in Montenegro as well as the Youth Home "Mladost" in Bijela, which had the technical capabilities to carry out adaptation interventions to and next to the entrance to the building. Today's event in front of the Tuzi regional unit is an opportunity to present this and to provide equal access to people with disabilities and people with reduced mobility," the minister pointed out.

Nišić
Nišićphoto: MRSS

She stated that one of the strategic goals of the Government of Montenegro in the area of ​​the social and child protection system is to take certain measures so that as many social protection institutions as possible become fully accessible to people with disabilities, bearing in mind that it is precisely the attitude towards this part of the social community that shows level of overall social and civilizational development, and that we cannot be satisfied with what we have achieved as a society in terms of overall development, until people with disabilities are equal in status with others and until we create conditions in which their daily lives will take place normally.

"This project is one of those that can contribute to a better quality of life for them in Montenegro, and it is a motivation for us to continue supporting various initiatives and measures for the improvement of their environment in the future," said Nišić.

Oana Kristina Popa, Naida Nišić
photo: MRSS

MRSS stated that Popa also expressed satisfaction with attending the opening ceremony of the adapted Center for Social Work in Tuzi for easier access for people with disabilities.

"This Center is one of the seventeen centers for social work throughout Montenegro that recently had significantly improved access. All these important investments were fully financed by the EU. Accessibility is a prerequisite for people with disabilities to fully participate in all areas of life on an equal basis with others. Accessible spaces are a crucial first step towards achieving equality. Only when people with disabilities can freely access transport, shops, parks or websites will they be empowered to take full control of their lives.", Popa said.

She stated that with about 87 million people in the EU and about 11 percent of the Montenegrin population facing disabilities, we must think about all possible ways to empower people with disabilities, so that they can fully enjoy their rights and actively participate in society and economy.

"We are all aware that, despite some progress so far, people with disabilities still face significant obstacles and are at greater risk of poverty and social exclusion. The EU strategy for the rights of people with disabilities for the period 2021-2030 points to a way forward in solving key issues such as ensuring accessibility, freedom of movement and residence, and active participation in democratic processes", Popa said.

She emphasized the EU's unequivocal support for the ongoing work of the Montenegrin authorities on deinstitutionalization and reform of the disability assessment system.

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