On International Day of Disabled Persons, Assistant FM: Bahrain advanced model in protecting and promoting rights of disabled persons
The Assistant Foreign Minister, Abdullah bin Faisal bin Jabur Al-Doseri, expressed the Kingdom of Bahrain’s keenness to respect and promote the rights of disabled persons, based on Bahrain's historical and civilizational heritage that is enriched with its noble, religious and cultural values, noting that this has made the Kingdom of Bahrain a leading model in protecting and promoting the rights disabled persons.
This comes on the occasion of the International Day of Disabled Persons, which is on 3 December of each year.
The Assistant Foreign Minister underlined the Kingdom of Bahrain's belief in disabled persons, making sure to provide them with the best services, thus ensuring their fundamental rights and freedoms and their effective participation in society.
The Assistant Foreign Minister detailed that this year's International Day of Disabled Persons focuses on their empowerment towards an inclusive and equitable and sustainable development as set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which pledges to ‘leave no one behind’ and recognizes disability as a cross-cutting issues, to be considered in the implementation of its 17 Sustainable Development Goals, and in line with the UN Disability Inclusion Strategy launched by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in June 2019.
The Assistant Foreign Minister stressed that the Government's programs of action, which have integrated the SDGs 2030, have focused on supporting these groups in society, through providing material, moral and service support.
The Assistant Foreign Minister noted the keenness of the Kingdom of Bahrain to activate the provisions of the United Nations conventions regarding persons with disabilities, where the Ministry of Health provided friendly buildings suited to the special needs of persons with disabilities. It also implemented health programs to assist in the diagnosis and early intervention as well as treatment programs to increase the capabilities of persons with disabilities, improve their life’s quality and qualify them to integrate effectively into society, in addition to free care, education and rehabilitation of children with disabilities and providing them with all services.
The Assistant Foreign Minister also added that the High Committee for Disabled Affairs, in coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has prepared the first and second periodic report of the Kingdom of Bahrain on the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities submitted to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Geneva. This report confirms that the Kingdom of Bahrain has shown great interest in persons with disabilities before the issuance of the said Convention, including the promulgation of Law No. 74 of 2006 on the Welfare, Rehabilitation and Employment of Persons with Disabilities, which provides many important guarantees for persons with disabilities in the areas of care, rehabilitation and employment, and Law No. 22 of 2011 ratifying the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, health, cultural, educational, social and other services.
The Assistant Foreign Minister stressed that the Kingdom of Bahrain is continuing its efforts in guaranteeing the right to education, where a project of citizenship-and-human-rights-promoting schools has been circulated, which integrates methodological theoretical lessons and practical activities and it covers all levels. The Kingdom has also succeeded in absorbing all students in all levels of education and providing integration opportunities for students with special needs, so that 40% of public schools are applying the integration.
He also added that the government is caring for the most needing groups to ensure social solidarity and provide social security through a package of social protection systems and programs, housing programs, free education, health and basic services, providing benefits for people with disabilities, unemployment insurance and many others, thus guaranteeing a decent living for people with disabilities.
The Assistant Foreign Minister also pointed out that the Ministry of Labour and Social Development continues to implement plans for the rehabilitation, training and employment the disabled by integrating them into the labor market in various jobs and works. He added that the legislator obliged enterprises employing fifty or more workers to employ at least two per cent of the total number of workers with the disabled nominated by the Ministry of Labour and Social Development. The employment of persons with disabilities shall be in the professions for which they have been qualified and other jobs that the disabled can perform, he added.
He also noted the contribution of the law on the welfare, rehabilitation and employment of persons with disabilities in guaranteeing their rights and following up on all the relevant special procedures, such as protection from abuse, exploitation or exclusion. He added that after the accession of the Kingdom of Bahrain to the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, a new draft law for the care of persons with disabilities is being considered, which includes more rights and gains for this category, one that is consistent with the provisions of this international convention, and more adapted to international and global changes in the field of care for the disabled.
He also underlined that the Strategy for Persons with Disabilities aims to create a Bahraini society where citizens with disabilities can exercise all their rights in a fair and equal manner. He continued saying that the strategy targets persons with disabilities, their families and all those who are interested in providing services to them.
In conclusion, the Assistant Foreign Minister called on the international community to shoulder its responsibility to ensure the rights of persons with disabilities and facilitate their integration into societies by instilling confidence in their abilities, highlighting their participation at any level, and removing all barriers to the full realization of their human rights.