Rijeka mayor signed the charter ensuring accessibility to public places for disabled people

Rijeka, 9 February 2011
At the annual Assembly of the Association of Cities of the Republic of Croatia held on 9 February in Zagreb, the mayors and vice mayors of 19 cities signed the Charter ensuring accessibility to public places for disabled people. The signing of the Charter expresses determination to remove the existing barriers and promote accessibility to public places for disabled people, as well as, by applying systematic measures, readiness to support the creation of an environment in which public places, services and communications, to the largest possible degree, will be available for all the inhabitants of Croatian cities.

Signatories to the Charter The signing of the Charter forms part of the project "The Right to Community Life", implemented in Croatia under the United Nations Development Programme, while the initiative for signing the Charter was initiated in co-operation with the Ministry of the Family, Veterans' Affairs and Intergenerational Solidarity.

The charter was handed in to the mayors and deputy mayors of 19 cities from the Osijek - Baranja County, the Primorje – Gorski Kotar County, the Sisak – Moslavina County, the Šibenik – Knin County, the Vukovar – Srijem County, and the Zadar County, by UN coordinator and UNDP permanent representative in Croatia, Louisa Vinton.

The president of the Association of Cities of the RC, Vojko Obersnel, thanked on behalf of all the signatories, emphasising that a lot had been done already to adapt public places in cities, adding: "However, the signing of the Charter, represents, above all, a moral and personal commitment taken by the mayors to provide to all the citizens equal possibilities in their cities". Anka Slonjšak, ombudsman for people with disabilities, thanked all the signatories for the readiness shown to give their contribution to help remove the barriers that disabled persons still face.

The Charter ensuring accessibility to public places for disabled people was signed during the Assembly meeting of the Association of Cities of the Republic of Croatia by the mayors of the following cities: Rijeka, Kutina, Vukovar, Šibenik, Vinkovci, Opatija, Belišće, Glina, Petrinja, Novska, Rab, Bakar, Drniš, Vodice, Otok and Donji Miholjac, and the vice mayors and representatives of Zadar, Cres, Delnice, Valpovo, Korčula and Sisak.

The signing of the Charter is a symbolic act of raising awareness about the need to consider and apply universal human rights principles.

Without accessible public institutions such as: schools, hospitals, post offices, banks, shopping malls, sports centres and other contents, the fundamental human rights to education, work, health protection and equal participation in everyday life of disabled people are infringed.
The charter that ensures accessibility to public places for disabled people up to now has been signed by the representatives of 80 cities and it is expected that by signing the charter, the initiative would be supported by other Croatian cities and towns as well.

 
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