The government is insisting that a national policy on people with disabilities is being formulated in Dominica.
This after executive director of Dominica Association of Persons with Disabilities (DAPD), Nathalie Murphy, said last week that the association is still “waiting on word” from the government to move forward with implementing the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
At a DAPD function in December 2013 prime minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, promised that government will appoint an officer, “in the new year,” with a view of implementing the convention.
“We are still waiting on word to that effect three months later,” Murphy said.
But at a visit to the the Alpha Center recently the prime minister stated that a policy is being formulated by the government and it is aimed at providing special care and assistance to those living with disabilities.
“We have captured some of them under the YES We Care programme but I believe because of the extent of the challenge something special has to be done for those who are affected in some way or another with some disability,” he noted. “Whether it is providing employment for the parents so that they can have the means of taking care of the children; whether it means providing home care for some of the people with disabilities, there are different things we are thinking of doing.”
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is an international human rights instrument of the United Nations intended to protect the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities.
The Convention came into force on May 3, 2008 and it was ratified in Dominica in October 2012.
President of the DAPD, Michael Murphy, stated that two years after the ratification of the convention, Dominica is expected to report to the UN on progress being made in implementing it.
“I hope we are not going to look so bad and tell the United Nations that we have nothing to say,” he stated. “To me I would not want to be attending a meeting where I have nothing to say.. so we impatiently await the first act by the government.”