The bill which would repeal the Persons with Disabilities Act, 2006, was drafted by the ministry of gender with intent to relieve government of some responsibilities in providing the required friendly services to PWDs. Instead it puts emphasis on the role of private entities in promoting the rights of persons with disabilities.
Persons with Disabilities have rejected the draft Persons with Disability Bill 2014 saying the draft is worse in terms of facilities for PWDs compared to the current Act.
The bill which would repeal the Persons with Disabilities Act, 2006, was drafted by the ministry of gender Labour and social development with intent to relieve government of some responsibilities of providing required friendly services to Persons with Disabilities. Instead, emphasis is put on the role of private entities in promoting the rights of persons with disabilities.
Although government says the new law exhibits its commitment in promoting the rights of PWDs, leaders of Persons-With-Disability groups said in a consultative meeting in Masaka district this morning that the bill is freaky and contravenes both local and international obligations for PWDs.
Nasser Ssenyondo, a Programs coordinator at Sigh Health Uganda says that after the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UNCRPD), Government became duty bound to create an environment to enable PWDs enjoy their rights. He says relieving the state of this responsibility tantamount to violation of the convention.
Ann Florence Nakabuye, a blind teacher at Misanvu Demonstration School for Special Needs, in Bukomansimbi district, says adopting the bill is having government shunning its responsibility of ensuring equality among all citizens. She says the bill makes the cost of enjoyment of their rights dictated by private financiers.
Nakabuye has urged government to instead make conditional and operationalized amendments in the 2006 act and criminalize discrimination against PWD's.
//Cue in, The Disability ACTâ€¦â€¦
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Hassan Mulondo, The National Coordinator, Uganda Albinos Association, says the bill has come at a time when many albinos are still missing out on provision of services because of limited availability of friendly services. He expresses concern that privatizing the provision of services will increase their vulnerability.
Mulondo reveals that for instance the sun-block-creams that prevent them from the effects of direct sunlight are still expensive despite the numerous appeals for the provision of free creams to persons with the condition.
At the local market, sun-block creams cost between Ugx 30,000 to 50,000 and one is used per month.
//Cue in; â€œin this new...
Cue outâ€¦â€¦survival also reduces.â€//
But Teopista Ssentongo, the chairperson of the Parliamentary committee on Gender that is currently on a nation-wide consultation on the bill has called on the PWD's to lobby the respective constituency MPs to stand with them to reject the bill.
//Cue in; â€œWhat I wouldâ€¦â€¦.
Cue outâ€¦support the cause.â€//
The 2006 bill was enacted through a Private Members Bill to provide a comprehensive legal protection for persons with disabilities (PWDs) in accordance with Article 32 and 35 of the Constitution. It was aimed at making provisions for the elimination of all forms of discrimination against PWDs towards equalization of opportunities and for related matters.