ABILITIES: Minister of Labour and Social Security, Shahine Robinson (right),
listens to Country Representative for the United Nations
Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Mariko Kagoshima, during the launch
of a comprehensive report on persons with disabilities,
titled ‘Situational Analysis of Persons with Disabilities’,
at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in Kingston on December 3.
M Bell/JIS Photo
Minister of Labour and Social Security, Shahine Robinson has recommitted the Government to the implementation of the Disabilities Act and the inclusion and empowerment of persons with disabilities.
The Minister was speaking Monday, December 3 at the launch of a new comprehensive report on persons with disabilities in Jamaica. Monday was the International Day for Persons with Disabilities.
Unicef, the Digicel Foundation and Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities (JCPD) used the event to call for greater inclusion of children with disabilities as they also launched the “I am Able” media campaign to promote the empowerment and inclusion of these children.
“The Government remains committed for the long term to guarantee full inclusion, consequently it has been working through the Ministry of Labour and Social Security to ensure that persons with disabilities are constantly empowered. We recognize however, the need for strengthened capacity, and so the organizational review currently taking place will provide many of the solutions for the issues and challenges raised,” Mrs. Robinson said.
Robinson added that her ministry is dedicated to the implementation of the Disabilities Act.
“I have been pressing the entire team at the ministry to provide a timeline when this is expected to be completed as implementation of the Act is contingent on corresponding codes of practices, and I have been told that the code of practices will be ready early in the coming financial year,” she added.
Digicel Foundation CEO, Karlene Dawson acknowledged that the signing of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC); the Convention on the Right of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the enactment of the Disability Act 2014 have been important efforts, but more must be done.
“The country has to move swiftly to enact the Disabilities Act. We hope to prompt that action by sharing the comprehensive report, along with the ‘I Am Able’ campaign,” Dawson asserted.
Mariko Kagoshima, Country Representative for Unicef, who emphasised that children with disabilities need special services and protection, underscored this point.
By: Franklin McKnight