Government Policy

Govt committed to ensure autistic people’s social participation: Momen

Foreign Minister Dr. AK Abdul Momen reiterated

Bangladesh's commitment to ensure maximum use of the talents of People with

Autism and their full participation in the society.

"We reaffirm our commitment to ensuring that over 75 million autistic people

in the world can make the most of their talents and participate fully in our

societies," he said at the United Nations (UN) in New York on Thursday,

according to a message received here today.

He was delivering his opening remarks at an virtual event on World Autism

Awareness Day-2022 organised by the Permanent Missions of Bangladesh and the

State of Qatar to the UN in collaboration with the World Health Organization

and Autism Speaks.

Dr. Momen shared good practices from Bangladesh in supporting children with

autism and their families during the pandemic, including through targeted

support measures and use of ICTs.

During the Covid-19, he said, the children with autism and their families

suffered disproportionately due to disruptions in their education and

therapeutic services.

However, he said, the existing social support system, strong ICT

infrastructure and robust community-based health services in Bangladesh

helped many families to cope up with the challenges.

Referring to the increased awareness on autism in Bangladesh, the foreign

minister said, various stakeholders, ministries and departments have worked

together to mitigate the challenges and stigma faced by the persons with

autism.

Various initiatives undertaken by the current government such as 'Rights and

Protection of Persons with Disabilities Act 2013' and 'Neuro-development

Trust Act 2013', he mentioned.

"Our government has been promoting a 'culture of innovation' to take

advantage of the assistive tools and technologies. 'Digital Bangladesh'

initiative has opened a new era in extending disability inclusive e-service,

webs and other ICT-based services", he continued.

Dr. Momen further mentioned about the guidance of directives given by Prime

Minister Sheikh Hasina for mainstreaming all children with special needs in

Bangladesh to explore their hidden talents.

He also acknowledged with appreciation the extraordinary role played by Saima

Wazed, chairperson of the National Advisory Committee on Autism and Neuro-

developmental Disorder, Bangladesh and WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Autism in

South-East Asia Region, to raise awareness on autism in Bangladesh and south

Asia.

He hoped that society can change to allow autistic people to live their best

life and use of inclusive digital technology could be a starting point

towards that end.

Along with Bangladesh's Foreign Minister, Qatar's Social Development and

Family minister Mariam bint Ali bin Nasser Al-Misnad, Under-Secretary-General

for Global communications at the UN Melissa Fleming and Director of WHO

Office in New York Werner Obermeyer also spoke in the opening segment.

Distinguished panelists from different parts of the world including parents

of persons with autism spoke at the Panel Discussion segment.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)