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 Gambia validates disability bill, policy
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Posted - 04 Aug 2016 :  18:54:00  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Gambia validates disability bill, policy

The Point: Thursday, August 04, 2016

Stakeholders from different sectors on Friday validated the National Disability Bill and the draft Disability Integrated Policy at the end of a two-day forum held at a local hotel in Bijilo.

The forum was organised by the Ministry of Justice in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Gambia Federation for the Disabled (GFD).

The bill and policy covered a wide range of topics including inclusive education for the disabled child and special measures for the protection of women with disabilities.

Speaking on the forum, Solicitor General and Legal Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Saffie Sankareh, said the documents are a testimony of the government’s commitment to create a conducive environment for persons with disabilities to enjoy their rights and realise their full potential in society.

She pointed out that addressing all the economic and social needs of people living with disabilities is fundamental in achieving an environment where such people are empowered to realise their full potentials.

Ms Sankareh noted that the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by the UN General Assembly is a major milestone and achievement in the history of disability movement.

“It serves as a building block towards the promotion of equality and universal access for people with disabilities throughout the world,” she said.

The solicitor general said The Gambia government is determined to move forward with the promotion and protection of the rights of persons with disability.

This is why the government endeavours to develop the legal and policy frameworks to eliminate all forms of discrimination and to guarantee the full inclusion of persons with disabilities.

Chairperson of the Gambia Federation of the Disabled (GFD), Isatou Sanyang, said the validation forum is aimed re-affirming their shared concern for the welfare of persons with disabilities.

According to her, the forum will also promote the understanding of disability issues, mobilise support to promote and protect the rights, dignity and wellbeing of persons with disabilities.

Emily Christie, Solicitor at DLA Piper who currently provides technical support to UNICEF, said the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities provides for the protection of the rights of the disables, especially children.

Fanta Bai Secka, director of the Department of the Social Welfare, said the forum is important in the government’s drive to domesticate the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

“Disability is part of human creation and a manifestation of diversity in the society,” she said. She further added that disability is developmental issue that needs to be addressed to enable persons with disability to have more access to services and facilities.

Madam Secka said enacting the disability bill is timely.

A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone


9153 Posts

Posted - 22 Sep 2016 :  18:00:42  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote

By Saikou Suwareh Jabai
Foroyaa: September 20, 2016

The Executive Director of the Gambia Federation for the Disabled (GFD), Mr. Ebrima Dibbasey, has appealed to the governmentmr-dibbasey-gfd-executive-director to fully enact the Disability Bill and adopt the disability policy. This, he said, will be a milestone for the protection and development of disable persons in The Gambia.

“As a disable community, we are really advocating for this because once the bill is enacted, a lot of issues are going to be based on the law,” he added.

He noted that in the proposed bill, there are important provisions such as the establishment of a national disable council which will look into and address all issues regarding disabilities in the country.

While commending the government for signing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), he enjoined the state to further help the disable community by adopting the policy and the bill. “There are lot of improvements that need to be done and this is where funds and other resources should be allocated,” he added.

The GFD Executive Director said addressing disability issues is expensive and thus needs concerted efforts. He said the annual budget allocated to the Department of Social Welfare for persons with disabilities is very minimal and thus needs significant increment in order to adequately address the funding gaps. He therefore called on the government, parastatals and NGOs to help persons with disabilities as disability is a human right and not a health related problem.

Mr. Dibbasey lamented the discrimination against people with disabilities and urged parents to send their disabled children to school and desist from side lining them because of their physical condition.

In July 2016, a two day sensitisation forum was organised by the federation to popularise the bill and policy and also find out what needs to be done to enhance the enforcement of these two documents.

A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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