Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities considers initial report of Jordan
Middle East, March 31 2017
The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities concluded its consideration of the initial report of Jordan on its implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Mired Ra’ad Zeid Al Hussein, President of the Higher Council for Affairs of Persons with Disabilities of Jordan, introducing the report, said that Parliament was about to pass a new and modern law on the rights of persons with disabilities. It was in full conformity with the Convention in terms of the definition of disability; adopted a rights-based model of disability; reinforced supported decision-making; and removed guardianship. A political commitment had been made at the highest level to deinstitutionalize persons with disabilities; the process would start in 2018 and would be completed by 2028. There was a strong social resistance to inclusive education in Jordan and relentless efforts were needed to address stereotypes, change attitudes, and lay the foundation for inclusive education. Jordan was aware that access to infrastructure, services and information was a key element in ensuring equality and non-discrimination for persons with disabilities.
Addressing the Committee in a video statement, the Jordanian National Centre for Human Rights said that the harmonization of national legislation with the Convention must continue and urged Jordan to increase disability allowance paid out to families and access to jobs and decent employment for persons with disabilities, and improve accessibility to public and private infrastructure, particularly health and education facilities, and especially those in rural areas.
Committee Experts praised the prohibition of disability-based discrimination in the highest law of the land, the Constitution, and the generous support provided to refugees, including those with disabilities, from Syria and other countries in the region. They welcomed the decision to progressively abolish the death penalty, asking what effect the continuation of executions could have on persons with disabilities in detention. Experts inquired about the protection from disability-based discrimination and the complaint mechanisms available to persons with disabilities, and steps taken to repeal all laws allowing arbitrary deprivation of liberty and forced institutionalization of any person with real or perceived psychosocial disability. The delegation was asked about women with disabilities, particularly with regard to their protection from discrimination, violence and abuse, and access to justice and remedies. It was alarming that 79 per cent of children with disabilities in Jordan were either deprived or severely constrained in accessing education. This must be immediately remedied, they stressed.
Mr. Al Hussein, in his concluding remarks, reiterated the commitment of Jordan to the rights of persons with disabilities and said that no effort would be spared in the implementation of the Committee’s concluding observations in cooperation with persons with disabilities and the Jordanian National Centre for Human Rights.
In concluding remarks, Damjan Tatić, Committee Expert and country Rapporteur for Jordan, said that the new law on persons with disabilities held promise that the many pieces of legislation would be brought in line with the Convention, and urged Jordan to pay great attention to mainstreaming, strengthening capacity and monitoring, and always cooperating with persons with disabilities.
Theresia Degener, Committee Chairperson, expressed hope that the concluding observations would help the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Jordan.
The delegation of Jordan included representatives of the Higher Council for Affairs of Persons with Disabilities, National Coordinator for Human Rights, Ministry for Social Development, Ministry of Education, and the Permanent Mission of Jordan to the United Nations Office at Geneva.