The UNCRPD gets approval from the Parliament to be ratified by Maldives
3rd March 2010, Maldivian Parliament votes approval to ratify the UN CRPD or UN Convention on the Rights for Persons with Disabilities. Maldives signed the UN CRPD on the 2nd of October 2007 at the UN’s annual Treaty Event in New York. This treaty was signed by the Minister of Foriegn Affairs(2007), Abdulla Shahid who is now the Parliament Speaker(above). Since then, Handicap International played a major role in helping the government, NGO’s in trying to get policies inline with the CRPD. It was the Sensitization meeting held at the Henveiru Youth Center which made most of the general public aware that there was a convention signed by Maldives on disability.
Since then, the faint voice started growing and we have raised concern over the slow process of this convention to be ratified. Our hopes were high when the new government’s health minister mentioned about the UNCRPD on the disability day, 3rd dec 2008 and that the new government would ratify it within a year. The disability day of 2009 was one of the least marked disability day to my memory and CRPD was not ratified! But I knew there was work being done on the convention(translation, terminology…etc.) At the end of 2009, we were also suprised to hear about a bill submitted by the government on disabilities rather than ratifying the UNCRPD first. It was also found that this bill was not in anyway inline with this convention and it had many flaws.
Anyway, when ratified, CRPD marks a milestone in the process of disability rights and it gives a considerable amount of weight to our amendments to the re-submitted disability bill(act). Now that it’s going to be ratified soon hopefully before the disability bill’s revision gets into the Parliament floor, our hopes of a rightful disability bill is in sight.
I’d like to thank all those who have been involved, directly or indirectly in making UN CRPD happen, specially the Handicap International and the staff at Health ministry(to be precise, Zimna Thaufeeq and Shifaza Wajeeh).
And I would also love to ask fellow MP of Kulhudhuffushi Uthuru Dhaaira, Abdul Gafoor Moosa why he’s the only one against ratifying the UNCRPD MP’s like him should read and be familiar with the Handbook for Parliamentarians on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. UN Enable(un.org)