Disability Act Comes into Focus This Year, Draft in Progress

On Friday President of the Association for Persons Living with Disabilities, Bernard Warner met with Attorney General the Hon. Steadroy Benjamin, Minister of State within the Ministry of Legal Affairs, Senator Maureen Hyman- Payne and legal drafters to discuss the way forward as it relates to the proposed Disability Act to be tabled in Parliament this year.

In discussing the Act, the Attorney General mentioned that the bill will be drafted based on the recommendations of the association.

Benjamin noted that the Gaston Browne led administration will ensure that the rights of persons living with disabilities are observed and protected.

Warner emphasized the need for the country to review the Disability Act of 2014 from Jamaica when drafting the proposed legislation.

The Attorney General agreed and noted that the Jamaican Act will be examined in its entity and will be used to assist in development of the laws for Antigua and Barbuda in this regard.

The Drafters present indicated that further meetings will be held with the association, to get a clearer understanding of their concerns and to further plan the way forward.

Warner added that the body has been advocating for legislation for some time now. He said that the legislation will assist in improving the quality of lives of persons living with disabilities.

The Minister made it clear that the work will be done and gave the commitment that before the end of 2017 a Disability Act will be presented to Parliament.

The government ratified the United Nations Convention for the Rights of Persons living with Disabilities in 2014.



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