LNFOD lobbies for passing of disability bill

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close up mid section view of a man sitting in a wheelchair
close up mid section view of a man sitting in a wheelchair

Limpho Sello

THE Lesotho National Federation of Organisations of the Disabled (LNFOD) has embarked on a countrywide campaign to lobby for the speedy passing of the Disability Equity Bill in Parliament.

The campaign was launched on 20 July and entails asking members of the public to append their signatures to a banner calling for the enactment of the bill into a law.

The Disability Equity Bill comprises of an array of legal rights for persons with disabilities including rights of physical access, access to services including health, the provision of education and the creation of the Disability Advisory Council.

According to LNFOD Executive Director, Nkhasi Sefuthi, legislation was long overdue since it was among the bills King Letsie III said should be passed during the 9th Parliament in his Speech from the Throne in May.

“LNFOD has made a banner on which people with disabilities and concerned members of the public can append their signatures to demonstrate their support for the passing of the bill,” Mr Sefuthi said.

“So far, the banner has been taken to Semonkong, ‘Maliba-Mat’so and Mafeteng district.”

He said the campaign would continue until 31 August 2015, after which the petition will be submitted to Social Development Minister Molahlehi Letlotlo and Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili.

“We are not yet sure how many signatures have been appended on the banner, but we are hoping to get about 12 000,” Mr Sefuthi added.

“When a person signs on the banner, it will be a clear indication that they support the passing of the Disability Equity Bill. The banner will also be available during LNFOD projects.

“LNFOD is lobbying for the passing of this bill by the end of 2015 as Lesotho will also be domesticating the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).”

He said Lesotho ratified the convention on 2 December 2008 which reaffirms that persons with all types of disabilities must enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms.

“The bill protects the rights of people with disabilities and would bring to reality what government vowed to uphold in the UNCRPD,” Mr Sefuthi said.

“If passed, the law would positively impact on the lives of people living with disability on such issues as employment, education and general wellbeing.”

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