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Govt Wants To Ratify Convention: A-G

Govt Wants To Ratify Convention: A-G
Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum during his National Budget Consultation at the Fiji National Council for Disabled Persons in Suva yesterday. Photo: Ronald Kumar
March 18
11:00 2017

Government will next week recommend to Parliament that Fiji ratifies the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Attorney-General and Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, made the remark at a Budget consultation at the Fiji National Council for Disabled Persons hall yesterday.

Once the Convention is ratified, Government is legally obliged to put a lot of measures in place.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum gave the example of when roads and footpaths were built.

“We have to make sure that there are ramps for crossing the streets from one end to the other,”

“Of course we have to plan and we can do what is called a retrofit – where we have to go back and fix up what we have already built.”

He said significant changes would take place once the Convention was ratified.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum was responding to concerns raised by people living with disabilities.

Concerns included:

High cost of obtaining a medical report

Unavailability of different modes of transport

Difficult Access to microfinance assistance

Communication problems for the deaf when seeking help in public hospital

Along with the ratification of the Convention, the Disability Persons Bill, when it becomes law, would reinforce Government’s obligations for people living with disabilities.

What the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is all about?

It is an international human rights treaty of the United Nations intended to protect the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities. Parties to the Convention are required to promote, protect, and ensure the full enjoyment of human rights by persons with disabilities and ensure that they enjoy full equality under the law.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum also apologised to the Disability Persons Organisations for the late disbursement of funds. Speaking on behalf of the Organisations, Joshko Wakaniyasi said that while they were grateful for the big increase in their budget allocation, they were concerned about the late disbursement.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa


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