Private Members’ Resolution
Mr. Edmund G. Hinkson, M.P.-Member for St. James North
WHEREAS Data from the 2010 Population Census of Barbados indicates that about five per cent of the total population of Barbados are physically or mentally challenged or suffer from hearing or visual impairment.
AND WHEREAS the Barbados Country Assessment of Living Conditions 2010 Report submitted to the Government of Barbados in December, 2012 indicates that these persons with disabilities are among the most vulnerable in our society and comprise a significant percentage of persons who live below the poverty line.
AND WHEREAS the 1966 Constitution of Barbados as amended does not guarantee persons with disabilities as a group protection from discrimination under the law.
AND WHEREAS the Government of Barbados on 30th May, 2000 laid in Parliament and debated the Green Paper on Persons with Disabilities as a part of its national development policy.
AND WHEREAS this document outlines basic principles which seek to empower persons with disabilities and organizations promoting the special interests of persons with disabilities so that these persons can be better equipped to become involved in the socio-economic development of Barbados and to ensure equal opportunities in all areas of the development of their lives in Barbados.
AND WHEREAS the Government of Barbados on 20th August, 2002 laid in Parliament and debated the White Paper on Persons with Disabilities outlining the strategies, policies, programmes and activities which it intended to develop to empower and protect persons with disabilities and to create an environment in Barbados conducive to the integration and inclusion of persons with disabilities at every level of our society.
AND WHEREAS the Government of Barbados on 19th July, 2007 signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (“the Convention”) which entered into force on 3rd May, 2008.
AND WHEREAS the Government of Barbados on 27th February, 2013 ratified the Convention, internationally binding itself to enact and have proclaimed legislation promoting, protecting and ensuring the full and equal enjoyment of all the human rights and the fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities in Barbados and promoting respect for their inherent dignity.
AND WHEREAS the Government of Barbados in July, 2014 launched a monitoring committee, as provided for under the Convention, with its mandate being to submit a comprehensive report by early 2015 on measures taken by Barbados to give effect to the country’s obligations under the Convention and on progress made in that regard.
AND WHEREAS Barbados committed itself under the provisions of the Convention to submit to the United Nations’ Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities established by virtue of the Convention a comprehensive report on these measures and on this progress by 27th February, 2015.
BE IT RESOLVED:
- That within six months of the passing of this Resolution, the Government of Barbados shall lay and have debated in the Parliament Disabilities Legislation providing , interalia, for:-
- respect for the inherent dignity, individual autonomy including the freedom to make one’s own choice and the independence of persons with disabilities,
- non-discrimination of persons with disabilities,
- the full and effective participation by and inclusion in society of persons with disabilities,
- the equality of opportunity for persons with disabilities, including in their educational, health, employment, cultural, sporting, recreational and political development, and
- full accessibility for persons with disabilities to the built environment and natural environment, to education at all levels and to employment and entrepreneurial opportunities.
Notice of this Resolution was given on March 16, 2015.