Press Release

Parenting for people with spinal cord injuries is the theme of a seminar organized by UNFPA.

28 September 2017
Parenting for people with spinal cord injuries is the theme of a seminar organized by UNFPA.
 Access to quality information and services is one of the key success factors in improving sexual and reproductive health of people. UNFPA focuses its activities on the needs and expectations of vulnerable groups, as well as on groups of people with special needs, such as those with spinal cord injuries moving around in wheelchairs.
 On September 27, a seminar on parenthood and sexual and reproductive health of people with spinal cord injuries was held in Minsk organized by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in cooperation with the RAIC (Republican Association of Wheelchair users) with the support of the Swedish Institute, .
 The seminar was attended by members and volunteers of PAIK, as well as volunteers of the Y-PEER youth network, which promotes information on sexual and reproductive health on a peer-to-peer basis.
The event was opened by the Assistant Representative of United Nations Population Fund in Belarus  Elena Kasko and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Sweden to the Republic of Belarus, Ms. Christina Johannesson. Elena Kasko noted that "in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, ratified by Belarus in 2016, it is important to eliminate not only physical but also mental barriers to the realization of people with disabilities of their rights." Ambassador Johannesson stressed the importance of the topic of the seminar and its direct connection with human rights.
 Swedish expert Nora Sandholt, representing the Spinals foundation, shared with theoretical and practical information about the characteristics of parenthood for people with spinal cord injuries and talked about the Swedish project "Mamma Pappa Lam". This project aims to increase access to knowledge about fertility, pregnancy, childbirth and parenting for people with spinal cord injuries. A large amount of useful information is available in English at the project website.
Eugene Shevko, Chairman of the Public Association "RAIK", spoke about the experience of Belarus in the field of sexual and reproductive health and parenthood of people with spinal cord injuries, as well as problems in this area and possible solutions to the seminar participants: "The society has come to a new understanding of the problems of people with disabilities The themes of sexual and reproductive health, parenthood, which were previously hushed up, bypassed, are finally reflected in our lives. It is often said that if a wheelchair user is employed, it is  the highest degree of rehabilitation, but more valuable achievement -. it is an opportunity to have a family and children "
The United Nations Population Fund plans to continue its activities to expand cooperation and coordination of efforts of various organizations and associations to improve the results in this direction.