Government Action on Disability Policy
A Global Survey
Part II - Government Replies as Country Profiles
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© Dimitris Michailakis 1997
Transmitted by Permanent Mission to the United Nations, New York (21 June 1996)
Compare with the following Country Report(s): ILSMH
The officially recognized disability policy is expressed in law, in guidelines adopted by the Government, in guidelines adopted by a national disability council, and in policy adopted by NGOs. The emphasis - in descending scale - is on: prevention, anti-discrimination law, individual support, rehabilitation, accessibility measures.
Since the adoption of the Rules the Government has done nothing to convey the message of full participation.
The rights of persons with disabilities are protected by a combination of special and general legislation. The judicial mechanism available to protect the rights of persons with disabilities is due process (legal remedy through courts) and recourse procedure by a special agency dealing with anti-discrimination issues.
The general legislation applies to persons with different disabilities with respect to 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.
New legislation concerning disability has been enacted since the adoption of the Rules.
There are no rules to ensure accessibility of the build environment. No measures have been promoted 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, 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 has no officially recognized status. There are no Government measures for encouraging media and other forms of public information to make their services available to persons with disabilities. The following service is provided in order to facilitate information and communication between persons with disabilities and others: literature in Braille/tape.
Organizations of persons with disabilities
There is a national umbrella organization. Legal provisions mandate 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 national level. The Government gives financial support to organizations. Persons with disabilities participate to a very limited extent in judicial authorities and political parties and to a great extent in NGOs. The organizations have the role to advocate rights and improved services, mobilize persons with disabilities, identify needs and priorities, participate in the planning, implementation and evaluation of services and measures concerning the lives of persons with disabilities, contribute to public awareness, provide services and promote organize income generating activities.
Co-ordination of work
The national co-ordinating committee is reporting to the Ministry of Social Affairs. The committee include representatives of the Ministries of Social Affairs, of organizations of persons with disabilities, of other NGOs. The Government expects the co-ordinating committee to participate in policy development and to perform other tasks. The establishment of the co-ordinating committee has had the following effects: improved co-ordination of measures/programmes, improved legislation, improved integration of responsibility, a better dialogue in the disability field and more accurate planning.
Contents of the UN Report | Compare with the following Country Report(s): ILSMH