By-law on disabled rights goes to Myanmar parliament

The by-law on The Rights of Disabled Persons, aimed at protecting and promoting the welfare of people with disabilities, will be presented to the parliament at the next parliamentary session, a senior welfare department official said.

This is the first time the by-law on the rights of persons with disabilities would be presented to congress since The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Law was enacted on June 5, 2015.

The by-law, once approved at the next parliamentary session on January 15, will be the implementing guideline of the 2015 law on disabled persons.

The by-law aims to address the concerns of people with disabilities in the country, such as physical barriers, pessimistic attitude barriers, legal and policy barriers as well as communication barriers for this section of the population which has special needs.

Physical barriers include poorly constructed buildings, crosswalks and other public areas, as well as transportation systems which are not “disabled-friendly”, while the pessimistic attitude barriers include the perception that disabled persons are a burden to their families.

Legal and policy barriers include qualifications for job applicants that they must be fit and healthy and capable to make full use of their body, while communications barriers include no sign language interpretation services that are available for the deaf, and lack of accessible to print media such asBraille for the visually impaired.

Daw San San Aye, director general of the Social Welfare Department, said the submission of the by-law to the parliament is the final step before it can be implemented.

“All the steps are finished. Only one step is left: to submit the by-law to the Hluttaw [parliament] for assessment and review,” she said.

According to the 2014 Myanmar population and housing census, of the country’s population of over 51 million, 4.6 percent or over 2.3 million are suffering from various forms of disabilities.

The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Law is comprised of 17 chapters and 94 sections. It is intended to protect and promote the rights of persons with disabilities.

U Aung Ko Myint, chair of Myanmar Federation of Persons with Disabilities, looks forward to the implementation of the by-law.

“We welcome the implementation of the law and the by-law to protect us,” he said.

Source: Myanmar Times, 12 January 2018

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