Researchers, disability rights advocates examine third disability rights bill

Legal researchers and representatives of Palestinian disability organizations and the ministry of social development discussed the third draft of the decree law on the rights of people with disabilities in a workshop organized by Birzeit University’s Institute of Law on Wednesday, August 28, 2019. 

This workshop is the latest in a series organized by the Institute of Law together with UNICEF and a number of Palestinian organizations to secure the rights of people with disabilities in Palestine. In January 2019, the institute held two workshops on a preliminary disability rights bill with the participation of over 80 disability rights organizations from the West Bank and Gaza.

Reem Albatmah, the institute’s director, highlighted the joint efforts of numerous Palestinian and international official and civil-society organizations which led to the creation of the third disability rights bill that incorporates feedback voiced by disability organizations and advocacy groups.  

Ameen Annabi, director of the department for people with disabilities at the ministry of social affairs, stressed the ministry’s interest in soliciting feedback on the bill, even after it has been enacted by the Palestinian executive branch. The ministry, he added, will work with several national civil-society and official organizations to continuously improve the bill. 

Yassir Shalabi, UNICEF’s representative in Palestine, commended the efforts of the Institute of Law and the various partner organizations in establishing the bill and in incorporating feedback of disability rights and legal research institutions. He reaffirmed UNICEF’s support for the bill and said that the organization will continue working with Palestinian partners to further refine the draft law.