PWDs want disability laws to function

Bawku (U/E), Persons with Disability (PWDs) living in Bawku and its environs have called on Parliament to speed up the passage of the Legislative Instrument (LI) on the Disability Law to make it effective.

Communities such as Kpatia, Sepaliga, Morgnori, Kpikpira, Temonde and Atuba have high numbers of PWDs, especially the visually impaired and blind, and they have been disadvantaged because there are no compelling and enforceable laws to their advantage.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency at Bawku in the Upper East Region, Dr David Azaare, the President of the Blind, said disability was a state of health that posed some challenges to individuals but did not, in any way, prevent the person from doing what an able-bodied person could do.

The interview hinged on a project funded by the Media Foundation for West Africa to find out the positive results achieved on disability in the Sustainable Development Goals in the Region.

Dr Azaare said disability was a condition in which someone was not able to use his brain or any part of his or her body properly mostly because of injury.

The purpose of the disability law has not been achieved because it does not fully safeguard the interest of PWDs, he said.

Article 19 of the African Charter on Human Rights states that all people shall be equal, they shall enjoy the same respect and shall have the same rights and nothing shall justify the domination of a people by another.

In the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, it is made clear in Article 17 (1) that all persons shall be equal before the law. 17 (2) states that a person shall not be discriminated against on the grounds of gender, race, colour, ethnic origin, religion, creed or social or economic status, he said.

These articles buttressed the fact that every human being, regardless of his physical condition, shall be recognised and treated as required by law, Dr Azaare said.

He noted that the transitional period of the Act made provision for a 10-year moratorium for compliance which calls for public infrastructure to be made disability friendly adding that the law had been there for more than a decade.

He, therefore, called on stakeholders including Non-Governmental Organisations, human rights groups, the Legislature and duty bearers to push for the accompanying LI to make the law effective.

Source: Ghana News Agency