HomeLatest NewsDisabilities Bill is One for the History Books  

Disabilities Bill is One for the History Books  

Dolores Balderamos Garcia

Disabilities Bill is One for the History Books  

Dolores Balderamos-Garcia, the Minister of Human Development, introduced a historic bill in the House of Representatives on Thursday. The Disabilities Bill has been in the works for the past thirteen years. Once it passes through the lower and upper houses, persons living with disabilities will have legislation that empowers them to have full and equal enjoyment of rights, privileges and benefits afforded by the Constitution of Belize. Here is more from Minister Garcia.


Dolores Balderamos Garcia, Minister of Human Development

“We ratified the convention in 2011. Imagine we are here thirteen years later doing what we need to do. But the fact is nothing happened before its time, and now is the time to make this happen. We want to put in place appropriate legislative and administrative measures for the implementation of the rights that are recognized in the convention. And this legislation will directly provide for the safeguarding of the constitutional rights that have been absent in the existing legislation, but which are applicable to persons with disabilities.  If I am correct, persons living with disabilities represent approximately fifteen percent of our population. Let’s think about that. And their ability to enjoy a standard of living comparable to the rest of society is largely governed by the ability of caregivers to make necessary adjustments and sacrifices, often at high costs and to the detriment of employment opportunities which can prevent socioeconomic growth. The state’s role in providing resources and services to persons with disabilities is globally recognized as a crucial part of any national social protection system. However, the responsibility must be borne by all levels of society. A robust legislative framework governing the rights of persons with disabilities is required to appropriately allocate responsibilities across main actors in the area and close existing gaps in data collection and resource mobilization.”

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