‘New disability law in offing’

The Executive Secretary of the National Council on Persons with Disabilities (NCPD), Esther Akua Gyamfi, has hinted that the country is on track to pass the Persons with Disabilities Re-enactment and its accompanying Legislative Instrument by 2023.

“Act 715 in its current form manifests fundamental gaps that do not conform to the obligations stipulated under the United Nations UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities,” she said.

She explained that the interpretation under Section 59 provided definition of disability which was based on the medical model and excluded other categories of persons with disabilities however, the reformed law filled the gaps and addressed 70 of the issues raised in the 2022 shadow report on the country’s mental health situation.

According to her, it was submitted on July 14 to the Universal Periodic Review of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Delivering a speech at a National Dissemination and Validation meeting on the ‘Evaluation of Ghana’s Performance in Respect of Human Rights in the Fourth Cycle of the Universal Periodic Review, Ms Gyamfi indicated that the government’s commitment, dedication and determination to pass the re-enactment by 2023 as stated in the National Act was exciting.

A coalition of non-governmental organisations working in mental health, led by MindFreedom Ghana, prepared the nation’s alternative following national consultation with stakeholders on human rights situation of people with mental health and psychosocial conditions.

Ms Gyamfi applauded the report and reaffirmed “universality, indivisibility, interdependence, and interconnectedness of all human rights and fundamental freedoms, as well as requirement people with disabilities be able to enjoy them fully and without discrimination”.

She underscored the report’s also recognised disability as evolving concept and disability results from interaction of people with impairments, attitudinal and environmental barriers that prevent their full, efficient and effective participation in society on equal basis with others.

“The shadow report aims to educate sensitise and raise awareness of the importance of mainstreaming disability issues in the country as integral part of relevant sustainable development strategies, as outlined in the country’s new National Development Policy Framework 2022–2025,” Ms Gyamfi lauded. -GNA

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