Morris wants disability law to come into force
Opposition Senator Floyd Morris has urged Minister of Labour and Social Security Shahine Robinson to set the effective date for the Disabilities Act, which was passed in 2014, to come into force. He made the call during his contribution to the debate on the Appropriations Bill in the Upper House yesterday.
"It makes a mockery of the parliamentary process because we passed legislation going into four years now and we can't implement the legislation. I want to say to the minister that she needs to act and act immediately," said Morris. He added, "We [are] going into the time now when we are required to review the legislation and they don't even implement it."
The Disabilities Act aims to foster socio-economic inclusion for members of the disabled community by safeguarding their human rights. For example, it would become unlawful to discriminate against a disabled individual in relation to employment and education. The act also makes provision for the Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities (JCPD) to become independent of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.
Morris noted, "When I look at the Budget, and I see how much has been allocated for the Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities - the agency that has responsibility for implementing programmes and policies for persons with disabilities on behalf of the State - the allocation is flat for 2018-2019. No increases!" Morris said that the new JCPD would require more staffing and funding to have an impact.
The Gleaner reached out to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security for an update on the matter, but it failed to respond up to press time.