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Constitutional amendments ‘a positive step’ for people with disabilities — HCD’s Azzeh

By Rayya Al Muheisen - Jan 12,2022 - Last updated at Jan 12,2022

AMMAN — The recent constitutional amendments passed by the Lower House to reinforce the inclusion of persons with disabilities “are a positive step for a gradual change in society”, according to Muhannad Azzeh, secretary general of the Higher Council for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (HCD).

On January 2, the Lower House passed two amended articles of the Constitution. A majority of 106 deputies voted to amend Paragraph 5 of Article 6 of the Constitution to read as follows: “The law shall protect the rights of persons with disabilities and promote their participation and inclusion in various walks of life. It shall also protect motherhood, childhood, and the elderly, take care of youth and prevent abuse and exploitation.”

Before the amendment, the paragraph read: “The law shall protect motherhood, childhood, and the elderly, take care of young people and people with disabilities, and protect them from abuse and exploitation”.

“Persons with disabilities are now granted the right to take an effective role in all walks of life”, Azzeh told The Jordan Times on Wednesday.

“We believe in gradual change,” Azzeh said.

The previous amendment was not the only amendment passed by the House of Representatives, he added. In guidelines that prevent a person from being a deputy or senator under Article 75 of the Constitution, the deputies crossed out the phrase “who is insane or an idiot” and replaced it with “full legal capacity,” according to Azzeh. 

“The Lower House approved the new amendment to the Constitution that gives persons with disabilities the right to run for parliamentary elections in addition to Amman Municipality elections,” he said. 

Legally and constitutionally, Jordan is a leading country when it comes to rights of people with disabilities, but there is still work to be done “to change the mindset of decision makers”, Azzeh noted. 

He stressed the need to change society’s attitudes towards persons with disabilities, and also reinforce diversity in our culture, especially among children.

The amendments are part of a package sent by the government to Parliament based on the recommendations of a Royal committee tasked with providing insights to modernise political life and develop legislation in the Kingdom.

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