JIS News

Minister of Information, Senator Burchell Whiteman said today (December 20), that Cabinet has issued drafting instructions for legislation that will provide for the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities.
The legislation is intended to cover persons affected by all classes of disabilities as well as their relevant family members and caregivers, and provide them with entitlement to social security and other benefits.
Minister Whiteman, who was speaking at a post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House, explained that the legislation was being developed following the debate on the National Policy for Persons with Disabilities that was hosted in Parliament in November of this year.
“A resolution on the National Policy for Persons with Disabilities was passed in the House of Representatives, urging government to speedily enact the National Disability Act,” the Minister said.
“The intention therefore, is to incorporate into legislation, policies which embody the principles of equality and non discrimination, affecting persons with disabilities,” he added.
Senator Whiteman said that wide based consultations have been held with the Attorney General’s Department; the Ministry of Justice; the Ministry of Local Government, Community Development and Sport; the Ministry of Transport and Works; the Electoral Office of Jamaica and other pertinent agencies on which the disability legislation would impact.
“The Cabinet has decided that before the Bill is finally brought to Parliament, consultations will continue with those Ministries and agencies and with all the relevant stakeholders to ensure that when the Bill comes to Parliament, the State is in a position to comply with whatever provisions are contained within the Act,” the Minister pointed out.