North Africa

Latest News



Aactivists claim draft rights law fails to treat disabled people as equals

Critics claim proposed legislation designed to benefit disabled people focuses on prevention and diagnosis rather than rights and legal protection

A draft law on rights for disabled people that has gone before the Moroccan parliament has been criticised by civil society groups for perpetuating outdated notions of disability. Moroccan disability associations are being supported by the campaign group Human Rights Watch, which recently wrote to the Moroccan parliament calling on lawmakers to ensure that the draft law accords full rights to disabled people.
Human Rights Watch says draft law 97.13 “on the protection and advancement of persons with disabilities” focuses too heavily on preventing and diagnosing disability, rather than giving disabled people rights and legal protection.
“People with disabilities in Morocco have been treated as objects of charity rather than as equal citizens, leading to stigma and discrimination,” said Eric Goldstein, deputy Middle East and north Africa director at Human Rights Watch.

One of the major stumbling blocks to full inclusion in Moroccan society has been the right to education. Some disabled children have missed out altogether, putting the onus to provide learning on disabled people’s associations instead of the state school system.
“I didn’t want my daughter to go to a special school,” says Soumia Amrani, mother of Aya, 22, who is autistic and still lives at home with her parents. “When Aya was two, she saw her sisters going to school and she wanted to go too, but there was nowhere available for her. I tried to educate her myself, at home with the help of specially trained teachers, but it was very difficult.”
Amrani says she is disappointed with the proposals for the new law, and feels it doesn’t do enough to give disabled children the right to attend regular schools. She feels that money earmarked for disabled people’s associations to deliver schooling would be better spent making existing schools more accessible and training teachers to help children with special educational requirements.

 readmore: The Guardian

Don't Miss