Government Action on Disability Policy
A Global Survey
Part II - Government Replies as Country Profiles
Download 'Government Reports on the UN Standard Rules' as a PDF file (440 KB)
© Dimitris Michailakis 1997
Transmitted by Permanent Mission to the United Nations, New York (21 March 1996)
Compare with the following Country Report(s): WFD
Since the adoption of the rules the Government has, tried through information campaigns to convey the message of full participation.
The rights of persons with disabilities are protected by special and general legislation. The judicial mechanisms adopted to protect the rights of persons are due process (legal remedy through the courts).
The general legislation applies to persons with different disabilities with respect to education, employment and the right to marriage. These rights are excluding cases of mentally retarded or severe mental disorders. The following benefits are guaranteed by law to persons with disabilities: health and medical care, training, rehabilitation and counselling, financial security, employment and independent living.
No new legislation concerning disability has been enacted since the adoption of the Rules. However, amendments to some articles in the Law, have been made in order to adapt the new trends to the circumstances of the society.
There are laws and regulations to ensure accessibility of the build environment. Special transport is available for medical treatment, education, work and recreational purpose. The most difficult obstacles when planning to build accessible environments are attitudinal factors, economic/budgetary factors, geographical and climatic factors, lack of legislation and regulations, lack of knowledge, research and information, and lack of enforcement mechanism. There is no disability awareness component incorporated in the training of planners, architects and construction engineers.
Sign language for deaf people is recognized as the official language of deaf people. There are Government measures for encouraging media to make their information services available for persons with disabilities.
Organizations of persons with disabilities
There is no national umbrella organization where all organizations of persons with disabilities are represented. There are no Government measures mandating the representatives of persons with disabilities to participate in policy-making and to work with Governmental institutions. Organizations are sometimes consulted when laws and regulations with a disability aspect are being prepared. Consultations take place at the local level. The Government gives financial support to existing or new organizations of persons with disabilities. Persons with disabilities participate to some extent in legislature and in political parties but to a great extent in Government and in NGOs.
Co-ordination of work
There is a national co-ordinating committee reporting to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Insurance. The committee includes representatives from various Ministries and from the private sector. The Government expects the co-ordinating committee to perform other tasks (training, advancement of disabled persons, planning). The establishment of the co-ordinating committee has had the following effects: improved co-ordination of measures/programmes in the disability field, improved legislation, improved integration of responsibility, a better dialogue in the disability field, more accurate planning, more effective use of resources, and improved promotion of public awareness.
The adoption of the Rules has led to a rethinking of the approach to disability policy.