According to FAPED, the last population census, in 2014, points to the existence of more than 650,000 people with disabilities in Angola, numbers that the organization considers unrealistic.
At a press conference, FAPED spoke about its participation, from the 6th to the 10th of this month, in Geneva, in the 28th session on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities held under the aegis of the United Nations Organization and the Committee on Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
According to FAPED members, the Angolan government delegation participated with almost fifty people, mostly women, of which only one represented people with disabilities, while the civil society delegation included six people.
"But despite trying to impress the room with this fact, having many women in the delegation, none of them were women with disabilities. You go to an event to be evaluated in relation to compliance with the convention on people with disabilities (...) and that caused astonishment", said Adão Ramos, member of FAPED.
"What conclusion did the experts reach: that it reflected the country. If you attend an event to be evaluated in terms of compliance with the convention on the rights of people with disabilities, take 48 or 50 people without disabilities, in the country as it is, in terms of representativeness of people with disabilities?" added Adão Ramos.
Adão Ramos underlined that the report they presented spoke about the non-existence of this fringe of society holding relevant positions in the country, as well as the various difficulties people with disabilities face in Angola.
"We didn't go there to say what some people wanted us to say, but we went to say the reality of people with disabilities in Angola, because we are the ones who experience them", said Adão Ramos.
In turn, the coordinator of FAPED, Venceslau Francisco, considered that the participation in Geneva reinforced "greatly the spirit of struggle in favor of the rights of people with disabilities".
"When we had this opportunity to go to Geneva to present a parallel report, I said that the time has come for us to take up the biggest fight in the fight for the rights of people with disabilities," he said.
Venceslau Francisco denounced that even before traveling to Geneva, Switzerland, at the stage of preparing the report, "some of our people were intimidated a lot", refusing to reveal names.
"The situation got worse when it became known that we were also going to Geneva to respond to the report. This caused us to have a tense period and that led us to have meetings with various authorities here in the country, especially linked to the rights of people with disabilities", said the FAPED coordinator.
"We had this meeting, where we, with great honesty and responsibility and also with respect for our entities, showed that we are partners with the State and with various ministerial bodies and that our participation, in Geneva, did not mean 'revanchism' with the authorities, but rather show our reality from the point of view of civil society," he said.
The official reiterated that the aim is not to "fight to create problems with the executive", but that the fight is in favor of the rights of people with disabilities, "that Angolan society, the Angolan State, by 2030, as committed to the Sustainable Development Goals [UN SDGs], to transform Angola into a true State of inclusion".