Muhammed Krubally, a lawyer by profession and the first and only visually impaired judge of the Gambia and chairman of the Gambia Federation of the Disabled (GFD), has announced that the passage of the Disabled Persons Act 2021 means safeguarding the sovereignty of all citizens.
“The Gambia Federation of The Disabled (GFD) hopes that the president will sign the law within thirty days to show that the Gambia is indeed an equal and just society for all,” his worshiper Krubally said in a statement to this reporter on Wednesday, August 18th, 2021.
Krubally added that the Gambia Constitution provides for a society where all citizens have equal rights and dignity with the right to equal opportunities. He said that meant the laws; Institutions and services in the country should serve everyone and serve them deliberately or by default without any form of discrimination.
The National Assembly passed the Disability Act on Tuesday, July 6, 2021 and approved by President Adama Barrow. This happened more than 10 years after the draft law was drafted.
“In Section 1, Paragraph 2 of the Constitution of the Republic of Gambia it says that the sovereignty of the Gambia lies with the people of Gambia and that public institutions derive their legitimacy and authority from the people and their tasks on behalf of for the benefit of the people. Therefore, regardless of disability, tribe, religion, political orientation, age or gender, all Gambians are the same as sovereign citizens, among other things. This means that the government has a duty to protect the rights of all Gambier, “said Krubally.
“Section 33 of the Constitution states that all Gambians are equal before the law and that no one by public institutions and officials may be discriminated against citizens within the meaning of Article 17 of the Constitution that people with disabilities have the same rights as everyone other citizens also have to use all public goods, facilities and services provided by public facilities.
Krubally firmly believed that all private companies, CSOs, individuals and all entities in The Gambia have an obligation to ensure that people with disabilities can enjoy or access the goods and services they supply or sell to other citizens.
“If it is not ensured that people with disabilities can enjoy or access these goods and services on the basis of their disability alone, then there is discrimination,” he said.
He cited an example of how a GSM company delivering an automated message to users must take into account that some phone users may be visually impaired, hard of hearing, or unable to speak. Therefore, the company must ensure that its products and services are packaged in a different form so that a person with some form of disability can directly understand the message when using their phone. Krubally noted that sometimes there is a need to create events, services and facilities for these disabled communities themselves to have fun because a certain degree of disability does not allow direct and full participation with others to some degree of your rights .
Magistrate Krubally said an example of this is the Special Olympics. He said that all parties involved must at least ensure that the goods, services, facilities, events and activities they supply are adequately accommodated so that people with disabilities can also enjoy them to the greatest possible extent.
“The passing of this law can therefore be seen as recognition that in fact all citizens are members of society with equal rights. In society, people belong to different communities such as male and female, young and old, ethnic groups, religions, political parties, regions. ”, And with different names and origins.
“This shows that diversity is the nature of society and of people, that is, a right. This diversity is the cornerstone of unity, since unity presupposes difference. So difference does not mean less or little, but difference only shows the diversity that exists in society, which must be recognized, protected and supported, “added Krubally.
With the passage of this law, Krubally said the Gambia had given practical importance to the concept of equal sovereignty for all citizens, adding that the Disability Act after the Children Act and the Women Act will now complete the idea of equality in society for all sectors of the population.
He noted that these laws recognize that some populations are marginalized because of age, gender, and disability due to certain sociocultural beliefs. In this regard, he added that these laws were created to protect rights and also highlight the need to eradicate oppressive, exploitative and discriminatory social and cultural beliefs and practices that have lived in this society for so long.
“Therefore, the Gambia as a republic should have had a disability law since 1970, as well as laws to protect children and women and other marginalized groups since the first day of independence,” he emphasized.
In another letter, Krubally said that the law from July 6th to 7th would not take as long as it would take to draft the law itself. In other words, he said it was not enough to create the exclusion and marginalization of these groups to recognize this law, but the government must go further by fully enforcing the law at any time and in the shortest possible time.
Krubally said it was therefore and also necessary that the government of Gambia immediately make urgent and comprehensive efforts to review other laws and reform institutions to ensure that they are all disabled-friendly.
“It is also necessary that private companies, communities, corporations and individuals understand and obey this law,” repeated Krubally.
Krubally stressed that a comprehensive national disability survey was needed to identify the state of disability in the country. A disability assessment is necessary to determine the type of disability that exists, and therefore the type of support services to be provided in meeting the rights and needs of people with disabilities. Such data collection must be continuous, consistent and comprehensive. It is a pity that since the last handicapped survey in 1998 no such survey has been carried out in this country, added the lawyer. The rights of people with disabilities could not be protected without accurate and up-to-date data, he noted.
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“Implementing this law is not just a government obligation. Rather, it is both a legal and moral duty for every person and entity in The Gambia to ensure that this society is fair, equal and free of any form of discrimination.It is all about justice and justice, but it serves the general social and economic Probably the Gambia to have a society in which all citizens have the opportunity to develop their full potential in order to lead a life in dignity and to be able to contribute their quota to national development “, explained Krubally.
Krubally urged the Gambier to remember that any person can be handicapped at any point in their life due to an accident, illness or other illness. When that happens, he said, one would wish that there was a fair system that would enable him / her to overcome their difficulties and challenges and seize opportunities to reach their full potential and abilities.
While Krubally said this was a historic moment in The Gambia, Krubally said that the Gambia Association of the Disabled President Adama Barrow, all members of the National Assembly, UNDP, ARTICLE-19, Minister for Gender, Children and Social Welfare, civil society sincerely thank you organizations and all their valued partners who showed solidarity with them to make the bill a success.
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