Government Action on Disability Policy
A Global Survey
Part II - Government Replies as Country Profiles
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© Dimitris Michailakis 1997
Ministry unspecified (17 April 1996)
The officially recognized disability policy in Eritrea is expressed in guidelines adopted by the National Disability Council and in policy adopted by political parties. The emphasis - in descending scale - is on: rehabilitation, prevention, accessibility measures, anti-discrimination law, individual support.
The Government has conveyed the message of full participation on the occasions of national and regional conferences organized to popularise the CBR programme of disabled persons in Eritrea.
The rights of persons with disabilities are protected by general legislation. A Governmental body (administrative) aims at protecting of the rights of persons with disabilities.
The general legislation applies to all categories of persons with disabilities with respect to: education, employment, the right to marriage, the right to parenthood/family, political rights, access to court-of-law, right to privacy, property rights. The following benefits are guaranteed by law to persons with disabilities: health and medical care, training, rehabilitation and counselling, financial security, employment, independent living, and participation in decisions affecting them.
No new legislation has been enacted since the adoption of the Standard Rules.
There are no laws, regulations and/or guidelines ensuring accessibility in the build environment. No measures have been promoted by the Government in order to facilitate accessibility in the build environment. There are no special transport arrangements for persons with disabilities. When planning to build accessible environments the most difficult obstacles are: economic/budgetary factors, technical factors, lack of legislation and regulations, and lack of enforcement mechanisms. There is no disability awareness component incorporated in the training of planners, architects and construction engineers.
Sign language for deaf people is used as the main means of communication between deaf persons and others. There are Government measures to encourage media to make their information services accessible. The following services are provided in order to facilitate information and communication between persons with disabilities and other persons: literature in Braille, news magazines on tape/Braille.
Organizations of persons with disabilities
There is no national umbrella organization of persons with disabilities. There are no legal provisions mandating the representatives of persons with disabilities to participate in policy-making and to work with Governmental institutions. Organizations are always consulted when laws and regulations with a disability aspect are being prepared. Consultations take place at the national level. The Government gives financial and organizational/logistic support to existing or new organizations. Persons with disabilities participate to some extent in NGOs and to a great extent in Government, legislature, judiciary and political parties. The disabled persons' organizations in Eritrea have the role o advocate rights and improved services, mobilize persons with disabilities, identify needs and priorities, participate in the planning, implementation and evaluation of services and measures, contribute to public awareness, provide services, and promote/organize income generating activities.
The adoption of the Standard Rules has led to a rethinking of the approach to disability policy and to measures being taken to adapt the policy to the Standard Rules.
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