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U.N. to safeguard Haitian disabled rights

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, March 5 (UPI) -- A group of U.N. experts will look into the plight of Haitians with disabilities, disproportionately affected by January's earthquake, the United Nations said.

The announcement comes after a group of U.N. human-rights experts last month urged that the needs of Haiti's disabled population be included in the relief, recovery and reconstruction processes after the 7-magnitude earthquake, the non-government organization said Friday in a release.

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The group also will look into the situation of people with disabilities in other countries affected by natural disasters, including Chile, which was struck by an 8.8-magnitude earthquake last weekend.

The decision to create the working group was made by the U.N. Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities during its recent meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, officials said.

Meanwhile, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met Friday with Chilean President Michele Bachelet and President-elect Sebastian Pinera as part of a two-day visit to see the earthquake damage in Chile and assess how the United Nations can help.

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