Disability Act falls short of UN CRPD: Report
Africa, July 1 2013
GHANA: A report on the review of the Persons with Disability Act, 2006 (Act 715) has revealed a number of inconsistencies with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).
“The Persons with Disability Act is not in harmony and it is inconsistent with the UNCRPD which Ghana ratified in August 2012”, report said.
The Draft Gap Analysis Report on the Persons with Disability Act 2006 (Act 715) was conducted by Law and Development Associate in April 2013.
The goal of the UNCPRD is expected to significantly redress the profound social disadvantage of persons with disabilities and promote their participation in the civil, political, economic, social and cultural spheres with equal opportunities.
However, the report said based on the analysis on the Persons with Disability Act and the UNCRPD, the Act in its current form, required some amendment to fill in the gaps and put it in total conformity to the UNCRPD.
The report has recommended that the drafters of a new Act should take account of those provisions of the UNCRPD which have either not been provided in the Act or where provided, were not detailed enough to give a complete effect to similar provisions in the UNCRPD.
It said the Act should be redrafted to take account of rights of “women with disabilities”, the rights of “children with disabilities”, the inherent “right to life,” and the right to protection and safety in “situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies.”
The report added that the new draft should cover the right to “equal recognition before the law,” “liberty and security of person,” “freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,” as well as “protecting the integrity of the person.”
The report also stressed on the right to “liberty of movement and nationality,” “freedom of expression and opinion, and access to information,” “respect for privacy,” and “participation in political and public life.”
The report maintained that the Act was lacking certain vital provisions contained in the UNCRPD without which Ghana could not boast of a robust regime to effectively protect the rights of persons with disability.
It said it was essential Ghana audits the Act and introduce the right legislative framework to give effect to the UNCRPD.