Wed | Mar 20, 2019

Codes of Practice to protect persons with disabilities

Published:Tuesday | December 4, 2018 | 10:01 AM
Minister of Labour and Social Security Shahine Robinson (right), listens to Country Representative for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Mariko Kagoshima, during the launch of a comprehensive report on persons with disabilities, titled ‘Situational Analysis of Persons with Disabilities’, at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on December 3, 2018 - Contributed photo.

The Codes of Practice to protect persons with disabilities are to be completed in the upcoming 2019/2020 financial year.

Meanwhile, the Disability Regulations are to be completed by the end of December.

This was noted by Minister of Labour and Social Security Shahine Robinson at the launch of a ‘Situational Analysis of Persons with Disabilities’ report on Monday at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.

The launch was held as part of the commemorative activities for the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities, observed annually on December 3.

The theme for this year was ‘Empowering Persons with Disabilities and Ensuring Inclusiveness and Equality’.

Robinson said the Ministry is working assiduously to ensure that the codes are completed as quickly as possible, as the implementation of the Disabilities Act is contingent on the corresponding codes of practice.

“The codes of practice currently being drafted will provide practical guidance to our stakeholders in education, training, and empowerment on how to ensure inclusion of persons with disabilities,” Robinson said.

She encouraged members of the private and public sectors, as well as civil society, to be “more deliberate in engaging the community of persons with disabilities”.

The codes and regulations follow the passage of the Disabilities Act in 2014 and will set the minimum standards on how the public is to interact with persons with disabilities.

They will also guide the participation of persons with disabilities in society and will state the penalties for discrimination.

Also launched at the event was the ‘I Am Able’ disability awareness media campaign, which seeks to promote the empowerment and inclusion of children with disabilities.

The report and the campaign are the main outcomes of a two-year partnership between the Ministry and Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities, which began in 2017.

The main purpose of the report is to provide evidence-based recommendations for the implementation of the Disabilities Act, which was passed in 2014 but is yet to be fully enforced.

It underscores that persons with disabilities are often overlooked and marginalised, and tend to face discrimination and social exclusion. 

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