The Ghana Federation of the Disabled (GFD) has called on Parliament – the lawmaking body of the country – to start considering the amendment of the Disability Law.
The Federation said, ‘There is the need to harmonize the country’s Disability Act 715 with the International Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities,’ which Ghana is a signatory to.
‘There is the need to harmonize the two laws so that they do not run parallel in application,’ said Isaac Tuggun, GFD Advocacy Officer.
He said the disability law of the country has no specific provisions in it, which makes it difficult for law enforcement agencies to determine how to go about handling disability cases.
He said the provisions in the International Convention clearly spell out specific provisions for dealing with persons with disability.
‘Article 6 of the International Convention deals specifically with women with disability and Article 7 deals with children with disability, but in the Ghanaian Act it has all been lumped together as persons with disability,’ he noted.
Mr. Tuggun intimated that Article 4 (b) of the Convention states that all parties must take appropriate measures, including amending or abolishing existing laws which constitute discrimination against persons with disability.
He said the country therefore needs to consolidate the two laws as they are both pursuing the same objectives which are to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms by persons with disability.
According to him, the Federation had taken a step further by submitting a gab analysis report to the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection as its contribution to fast-truck the amendment of the Disability ACT.
‘We are therefore holding a forum today for stakeholders to galvanize support to embark on a vigorous campaign to push government to start the amendment process,’ he revealed.
The one-day stakeholders’ meeting was also to make headway in the incorporation of disability issues in the post-2015 Millennium Development Goals agenda as no implementing agent incorporated issues of disability in programmes aimed at achieving those goals.
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri
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