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People with disabilities get a lifeline

The Minister of Social Development 'Matebatso Doti

Dec. 1, 2020 2 min read

2 min read

PEOPLE with disabilities will finally get a fair fighting chance with the recent passing of the Persons with Disability Equity Bill by the Senate.

The Lesotho National Federation of Organisations of the Disabled (LNFOD) has therefore noted with great appreciation the passing of the bill on November 18.  

The bill was first tabled in Parliament on August 31, 2018 by the Minister of Social Development ’Matebatso Doti before it was passed by the House on November 27, 2019.

The passing of the bill marks a turning point for the Lesotho disability movement in which LNFOD and its allies will focus on developing the strategies and mechanisms of ensuring effective enforcements and implementation of this much awaited act.

The passing of this long awaited bill by Senate represents a significant milestone achieved by both the government and persons with disabilities.

If well implemented, the Persons with Disability Equity Act can be a game-changer for persons with disabilities and can facilitate effective mainstreaming of persons with disabilities in all aspects of development.

According to LNFOD, this achievement comes after a long struggle of persons with disabilities demanding the domestication of the United Nations (UN) Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities through an Act of Parliament since Lesotho is a dualistic state, which needs to transform the international conventions and treaties into domestic laws before they can be enforceable in the country.  

The drafting of this historical Bill started in 2014 wherein many ups and downs experienced made it difficult for the bill to be passed in time just like any other piece of legislation.

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LNFOD has therefore extended its deepest gratitude to its partners, Diakonie Act Austria, Bread for the World Germany and the Lesotho development partners including all UN agencies for providing financial and technical support to make the association stronger in advocating for this act ever since its inception.

Some of the key provisions of this bill include the establishment of the independent Disability Advisory Council which will monitor effective implementation of the act and an array of disability rights including social protection, employment and access to justice for persons with disabilities.

LNFOD notes the commitment and determination of Mrs Doti by fulfilling her promise of enacting this bill into law.

The association is as a result looking forward to monitoring the effective implementation of this act as soon as it is enforceable in Lesotho.


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