The Ministry of Gender Equality, Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare (MGEPESW) on Wednesday officially launched the nationwide consultation on the Persons with Disability Bill and National Policy.
Deputy Minister of Marginalised People, Royal |Ui|o|oo, said the draft bill aims to domesticate the principles entrenched in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities into Namibia’s statutory framework.
Speaking on behalf of MGEPESW Minister Doreen Sioka during the launch in Windhoek, |Ui|o|oo said the convention places emphasis on the importance of mainstreaming disability issues as an integral part of relevant strategies for sustainable development.
“This process will not only ensure that Namibia complies with its international obligations, but will equally ensure that persons with disabilities in Namibia receive required protection,” he said.
The Bill further aims to establish that Namibia, the MGEPESW, and the National Disability Council of Namibia (NDCN) in particular, are assertive when it comes to matters and issues that relate to persons with disabilities.
He said the consultation process will cover and engage all 14 regions to ensure that no person with disability is left out. The ministry will conduct the consultation with several stakeholders, including the NDCN.
|Ui|o|oo noted that the Draft Persons with Disabilities Bill further aims to establish that Namibia, the gender ministry, and the NDCN are assertive when it comes to matters and issues that relate to persons with disabilities.
Chairperson of the National Federation of Persons with Disabilities in Namibia (NFPDN), Matheus Hashoongo on his part urged Members of Parliament to take the Bill and its amendments seriously.
“Members of Parliament, please hear my voice. I want you to take this one seriously,” said Hashoongo.
He added that Namibia should break the chain of stigma and discrimination, such as unemployment and a lack of access to information for persons with disabilities. Additionally, Hashoongo stated that there should be a sign language provision in Parliament, for the inclusion of persons with disabilities.