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 (15 April 1996)
The officially recognized disability policy in Luxembourg is expressed in law and in guidelines adopted by the Government. The emphasis - in descending scale - is on: rehabilitation, individual support, prevention, accessibility measures, anti-discrimination law.
Since the adoption of the Rules the Government has done the following in order to initiate and support information campaigns conveying the message of full participation: In July 1993 the Government adopted a national programme for disabled persons which outlined the policy for disabled persons. In February 1995 the creation of a co-ordination committee was decided including representatives from several Ministries in order to establish principles and elaborate measures for a national programme.
The rights of persons with disabilities are protected by general legislation. The judicial mechanism adopted to protect the rights of persons with disabilities is due process (legal remedy through courts), and non-judicial mechanisms including a Governmental body (administrative).
The general legislation applies to persons with different 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 socio-psychological assistance, financial security, employment, independent living and participation in decisions affecting them.
No new legislation has been adopted since the adoption of the Rules.
There are laws and regulations requiring that public places, the outdoor environment, means of transportation and housing are made accessible. No responsible body exists for observing the accessibility in the build environment. The following measures have been promoted by the Government in order to facilitate accessibility in the build environment: marking parking areas, installing lifts and accessible toilets, improving accessibility in housing, providing financial support for the costs of adapting private buildings to the needs of persons with disabilities. Special transport is available for medical treatment, education and employment purposes. When planning to build accessible environments the most difficult obstacles are: attitudinal factors, economic/budgetary factors, lack of legislation and regulations, lack of knowledge, research and information. There is no disability awareness component incorporated in the training of planners, architects and construction engineers.
There are no Government measures for encouraging media to make their services accessible for persons with disabilities but there are measures for encouraging other forms of public information making their services accessible. The following services are provided in order to facilitate information and communication between disabled persons and others: literature in Braille/tape, news magazines on tape/Braille, easy readers for persons with mental disabilities.
Organizations of persons with disabilities
There is a national umbrella organization for all the organizations of persons with disabilities. Legal provisions mandating the representatives of persons with disabilities to participate in policy-making and to work with Governmental institutions. Organizations are often consulted when laws and regulations with a disability aspect are being prepared. Consultations take place at the national level. The Government financially supports existing or new organizations. Persons with disabilities participate to a very limited extent in Government, legislature, judiciary, political parties but to a great extent in NGOs. In Luxembourg the disabled persons' organizations have a role to: advocate rights and improved services, 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 and provide services.
Co-ordination of work
A national co-ordinating committee, established in 1994, is reporting to the "Ministre aux Handicapés et aux Accidentés de la vie." The committee includes representatives of the Ministries of: Health and Social Affairs, Employment, Transport, Housing and Education. The Government expects the national co-ordinating committee to participate in policy development. The committee is not expected to perform other tasks.
The Government, however, states an assessment of the effects of the establishment of the committee is premature.
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