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Rights of people with disabilities a top gov’t priority — Abdallat

By Rana Husseini - Aug 13,2023 - Last updated at Aug 13,2023

Director of the Prime Ministry’s Human Rights Department Khalil Abdallat speaks during a consultation meeting with the Higher Council for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Amman on Sunday (Petra photo)

AMMAN — Director of the Prime Ministry’s Human Rights Department Khalil Abdallat on Sunday stressed that the rights of people with disabilities remain at the top of the government’s agenda.

Abdallat spoke during a one-day consultation meeting with the Higher Council for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (HCD) to discuss preparations for Jordan’s Fourth Universal Periodic Review (UPR) 2024, which will be presented in Geneva later this year.  

“People with disabilities also remain a top priority for the leadership of this country,” Abdallat told the gathering.

“His Majesty King Abdullah called for achieving integration, inclusiveness and political and economic inclusion for persons with disabilities, as well as empowering them, during a recent summit for people with disabilities,” Abdallat added.

In February, King Abdullah participated in the Global Disability Summit, which was held virtually with the participation of a number of government leaders and officials, and representatives of international organisations.

In remarks at the summit, King Abdullah said Jordan is taking every opportunity to enhance inclusion, as true progress cannot be achieved without fostering inclusive development that safeguards the rights of persons with disabilities.
His Majesty pointed to the endorsement of the constitutional amendments earlier this year, which stipulated that laws must protect the rights of persons with disabilities, and enhance their participation and integration in all aspects of life.

Abdallat also stressed during the meeting that “the government and relevant partners are constantly working to secure the rights and basic freedoms of people with disabilities”.

He also pointed out that Prime Minister Bisher Khasawneh has directed the government to “examine challenges that face people with disabilities and to exert utmost attention to their status in the society”.

Also addressing the gathering, HCD Spokesperson Ghadeer Hares said the Kingdom showed great interest in the rights of persons with disabilities, which was represented in the passing of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Law No. 20 of 2017.

“This law is the first in the region that is based on equality and anti-discrimination in all fields,” Hares told the gathering.

In addition, Hares highlighted the recent 2002 Constitutional amendments, which came to strengthen the national legislative system and ensure the constitutional right of persons with disabilities to participate, integrate and enjoy their rights on the basis of equality with others in society. 

The UPR, along with the Human Rights Council, was established by UN Resolution 60/251 in 2006, according to its website.

Under this mechanism of the UN human rights system, it involves a review of the human rights records of all UN member states once every 4.5 years, based on the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other human rights instruments to which the state under review is a party.

The review also considers all voluntary pledges and commitments made by the state.  

Abdallat stated that there will be additional future consultation meetings in various governorates.

The government will present the report in Geneva in October, while the discussion will be held in January of next year, according to Abdallat.


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