RESPONSE TO OPEN LETTER TITLED “THE EVOLUTION OF DISABILITY RIGHTS AND PUBLIC INTEREST”

On 07th September 2015 Mr. Mervyn Anthony has caused the publication of an open letter in “Le Mauricien” expressing his concern on various disability issues in Mauritius. An official response is hereby provided to the numerous questions and requests set out in the said letter.
The Report submitted by Mauritius with regard to the implementation of the United Nation Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is publicly available and can be accessed on  HYPERLINK “http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Pages/welcomepage.aspx.%20The” www.ohchr.org/EN/Pages/welcomepage.aspx. The 14th Session of the Committee on the rights of persons with disabilities was held in Geneva on the 24th and 25th of August 2015 whereby the initial report of Mauritius was thoroughly examined. Our delegation has had a constructive dialogue with the members of the Committee with respect to the implementation of the UN Convention in Mauritius. The Concluding Observations of the Committee are publicly available on the above mentioned website.
It is to be highlighted that the legislative procedure for the enactment of the Disability Bill is a lengthy process. However, in line with the new Government’s undertaking to enact an innovative and contemporary Disability Bill, our Ministry has already prepared a draft Disability Bill which is currently being finalized by the officers of the State Law Office. Our Government values the spirit of consultations and we therefore intend to pursue consultations with all relevant stakeholders in the interest of persons with disabilities once the draft Disability Bill has been vetted by the SLO. The public will also be invited to express their views and concerns with respect to the Bill.
As far as the Training and Employment of Disabled Persons Board and the Lois Lagesse Trust Fund are concerned, our Ministry is currently working on a project to come up with a One-Stop-Shop for disability issues with a view to avoiding dispersal of resources and making services more disability-friendly. In this context, a single integrated structure will be set up and vacancies will be advertised accordingly.
Let me reassure you that the promotion and protection of the rights of persons with disabilities remain a priority and my Ministry is working relentlessly towards this end.