Disabilities

Unanimous support for people with disabilities

A Bill touted to give equal rights to people with disabilities was unanimously agreed to be referred to the Standing Committee of Social Affairs by Parliament today. The Rights Of Persons With Disabilities Bill 2016, initially tabled in the February sitting of Parliament, was called for a second reading by the Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. […]

Calvin Prasad

April 25, 2016 4:04 pm

A Bill touted to give equal rights to people with disabilities was unanimously agreed to be referred to the Standing Committee of Social Affairs by Parliament today.

Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum (right) at the Parliament Complex today. (Peni Shute / Newswire).
Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum (right) at the Parliament Complex today. (Peni Shute / Newswire).

The Rights Of Persons With Disabilities Bill 2016, initially tabled in the February sitting of Parliament, was called for a second reading by the Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

SAYED-KHAIYUM: “The Bill puts measures in place for people with disabilities equal access to facilities and services in Fiji.”

Download: Bill-No-12-Rights-of-Persons-with-Disabilities (PDF-400KB).

Government MP Hon. Netani Rika supported the bill saying more could be done in government and all levels of society.

RIKA: “The National Council of Persons with Disabilities has a huge role to play. We Fijians have the responsibility to uphold the rights of persons living with disabilities.”

Minister of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Hon. Rosy Akbar told parliament that most families who had a member living a disability faced challenges within their homes.

AKBAR: “Persons living with disabilities continuously seek for a voice, recognition and a rightful place in a nation as a whole.  People living with disabilities need this bill. Their voices will be heard and the recent TC Winston brought to light some of the issues that people with disabilities face. The bill will bring the much need protection that they need.”

National Federation Party (NFP) Leader Hon. Biman Prasad said persons with disabilities had suffered in many ways.

PRASAD: “To make sure that people with disabilities are not discriminated in employment or in wages received.”

Trade Miniter Hon. Faiyaz Koya said it was important to ensure individuals with disabilities knew they were not forgotten.

KOYA: “In my Ministry, we employ two persons who have disabilities. We want employers not to discriminate persons with disabilities.”

Opposition MP Hon. Salote Radrodro that in the 2016 National Budget, the National Federation Council for Disabled Persons (NFCDP) was allocated an amount of $400,000.

RADRODRO: “We have no reservation for the bill and we all support it.  We need to increase the amount allocated to the NFCDP.”

Opposition MP Hon. Mosese Bulitavu said more resources were needed to be able to implement the Bill.

Hon. Tupou Draunidalo supported the bill and said that more funding is needed.

DRAUNIDALO: “We commend the implementations to move the bill. I agree with Hon. Radrodro, that we need to increase the amount given to the NFCDP in our national budget.”

Finally, the AG thanked members of Parliament for supporting the motion.

SAYED-KHAIYUM: “We must improve on this bill and not just take it as it is.”

More updates on today’s parliamentary session are available from our Live Blog.

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