Posted: Thursday, October 20, 2022. 10:01 am CST.
By Aaron Humes: The Belize Assembly for Persons with Disabilities (BAPDA) is angling for its inclusion on the People’s Constitution Commission to represent the estimated 13 percent or 52 thousand Belizeans living with disability nationwide, including sensory, mobility, intellectual, visual or physical disability.
According to BAPDA in a press statement, Persons with Disabilities (PWD) have faced exclusion and discrimination dating back to the original 1981 Constitution, and in 1999 the final report of the Political Reform Commission recommended their inclusion in formulating any new draft.
But there has been no response to two letters sent to the National Assembly and now BAPDA is calling on Minister Henry Charles Usher and Good Governance Director Cesar Ross to hear their pleas.
BAPDA cites Recommendation # 11 of the 2000 Political Reform Commission, which reads as follows: “The Commission recommends that section 3 of the Constitution be amended to include entitlement to fundamental rights and freedoms whatever an individual’s disability. In relation to this amendment, the Commission further recommends that supporting ordinary legislation be promptly enacted on the rights of the disabled.” It also cites the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, signed by the Government of Belize on May 9, 2011, and ratified three weeks later on June 2, 2011.
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