Sat | Apr 20, 2019

Morris chides labour ministry for not advancing disability treaty

Published:Thursday | April 12, 2018 | 12:48 AMCarlene Davis

Senator Floyd Morris has expressed disappointment in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security for not submitting the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) report to the United Nations (UN), 11 years after it was first signed.

Morris was speaking at the conversations on special needs panel discussion at the Jamaica Conference Centre in Kingston yesterday. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is a treaty that states as its main purpose; to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities.

“The process is that the ministry of labour and social security, which has carriage for the disability sector, would submit that report to the United Nations via the ministry of foreign affairs. That is where there has been some tardiness in the ministry of labour because I don’t think the ministry of labour has moved it along so there is where there is a problem.

“I am very hurt about it and I know that a report was drafted and submitted to the relevant authority in 2012. So, there’s no excuse as to why Jamaica should not have submitted a report to the United Nations and we are flirting our international responsibilities and we are not getting our full responses as to what can be made available for Jamaica from the international community,” said Morris.

Morris said he was very disheartened because Jamaica was the first country in the world to sign and ratify the convention in 2007 and he is urging the government to submit the report. 

Morris, also the Director of the University of the West Indies Centre for Disability Studies, mentioned that a Regional Disability Index was launched recently by the university which will assess and measure countries within the English-speaking Caribbean on efforts to implement the convention on the rights of persons with disabilities and the sustainable development goals.

“Jamaica ensure that governments are putting in place measures to implement and improve the conditions of persons with disabilities; no government wants to see themselves at the bottom of an index. Once they see you start to rank them they are going to be thrust into action and that is what this initiative seeks to do,” said Morris.