The Commission for the Rights of Persons with Disability has officially distanced itself from ‘Time to Shine Malta’, which is described as a prom-like event, centered on God’s love, for people with special needs, in which they are made to feel special for one night, and which is being organised by the Tim Tebow Foundation, LifeNetwork Foundation Malta and the St Julian’s Parish, together with a number of commercial entities, as well as the Maltese Association of the Order of Malta.
In a statement the Commission said that “it is of the opinion that this event is a window-dressing exercise in making fellow citizens feel ‘special for a night,’ adding that everyone’s “collective effort should be aimed at making them feel included in society for a lifetime.”
Furthermore, the Commission said that the event is a classical charity event with no active participation of Disabled People’s Organisations, “thus disabled people presumably have no say in the organisation of the event.”
“In both invitation and promotional material, persons with disability are referred to as “persons with special needs”. Nowhere does the invitation and promotional material indicate that the event will promote disability rights. Thus, as the Independent Mechanism entrusted by law to protect, promote and monitor the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability, and with endorsement of then CRPD Council, the Commission cannot possibly support this event,” the statement ended.