A new law strengthening the human rights of persons with disabilities has received its first reading at the House of Representatives, but was later sent to the Joint Committee on Health and Judiciary, to make an advisement within two weeks.
The new Disability Law is aimed at repealing the Act Establishing the National Commission on Disabilities (NCD) of 2005 and thereof, establishing the Act creating the NCD of 2018.
The NCD of 2018 is considered to be a sustainable development law that will ensure the lives of people living with disabilities are empowered to access information and obtain the right kind of education that will allow them to be full participants in society.
Representative Richard N. Koon of Montserrado County District #11, who is the sponsor of the bill, told journalists after Thursday’s session that the bill also seeks to revise the definition of people with disabilities, who are the poorest of the poor.
He indicated that the new Disability Bill would amend certain provisions in the NCD of 2005, which violates the 1986 Constitution as well as change some of the nomenclature and strengthen the rights of persons with disabilities in accordance of the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
“This bill has more than 14 researchers and has accumulated over 42 lawmakers as co-sponsors,” Rep. Koon said.
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities offers sufficient standards of protection for the civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights of persons with disabilities on the basis of inclusion, equality and non-discrimination.
The Convention makes it clear that persons with disabilities are entitled to live independently in their communities, to make their own choices and to play an active role in the society.
Meanwhile, a bill to establish an election court, to hear a petition against the result of presidential and representatives election is also to be introduced in the House of Representatives.
The proposed law, known as the Liberia Electoral Court, was seized by House Speaker Bhofal Chambers, because of arguments arising from lawmakers, which said if the Election Court is established it would contravene the 1986 Constitution and the Elections Law of the National Election Commission.
The Liberia Electoral Court bill is sponsored by Maryland District #1 Representative P. Mike Jurry.