Hearing session with the Ministry of Social Development to discuss the demands of persons with disabilities and Bedouins

Ramallah Ma’an – Representatives of civil society organizations organized a listening session this morning, Monday, at the Carmel Hotel in Ramallah with the representative of the Ministry of Social Development, Mr. Abbas Diab, Director of the Disability Card Department for Persons with Disabilities in the Ministry.

The hearing was attended by representatives of the Palestinian Center for the Independence of the Judiciary and the Legal Profession (MUSAWA), the Palestinian Coalition for Disability, the General Palestinian Union of Persons with Disabilities, Ramallah and Al-Bireh Branch, the Young Men’s Christian Association – Jerusalem, the Al-Baidar Organization for the Defense of Bedouin Rights, the Hurriyat Center, the Human Rights and Democracy Media Center – Shams, and Mada News Agency.

The dialogue focused on the rights of marginalized minorities, particularly the rights of people with disabilities and Bedouins, and their urgent and pressing demands.

Representatives of the participating institutions wo
ndered about the reasons preventing the amendment of the 1999 Law for the Disabled, which has been under discussion since 2019 and which violates many of its provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which was published late last year in the Official Gazette ‘Al-Waqa’i’.

They also asked about the reasons that prevent the establishment of a higher council for people with disabilities with the participation of their representatives, and the reasons that prevent the full and faithful implementation of the health insurance system for people with disabilities, which the previous government considered one of its most prominent achievements, pointing in this context to the weak formation and performance of the specialized medical committee in determining the percentage of physical and functional disability and the needs that official bodies must secure for the disabled, as well as the shortcomings in defining the disabled person’s rights in the field of health insurance
when visiting government hospitals, such as exemption from fees, for example.

They called for the need to expedite the issuance of a disability card to ensure that the government provides the services it must provide, including humanitarian aid.

They asked about the Ministry’s plans to support and assist the Bedouins in a way that provides them with appropriate services in the health, social and educational fields, wondering about the nature of the Ministry’s programmes dedicated to the Bedouins.

In turn, Abbas Diab pointed out that his ministry has a financial aid system that benefits 120,000 families, noting that this program has stopped providing assistance to the aforementioned families due to the financial crisis that the authority is suffering from and the international donor agencies stopping their support for the program, stressing that the families benefiting from the program used to receive a financial grant once every three months, then once every six months, then the program has stopped until n

The representative of the Ministry of Social Development pointed out that there is a problem in the work of the medical committees because their members are general practitioners and not specialists, which hinders and negatively affects the role of the Ministry of Development in providing support to people with disabilities.

He revealed that the sectoral committee responsible for caring for people with disabilities is not regular in its work, which needs to be activated until now, pointing out that the Ministry of Social Development has sent many messages to the members of the sectoral committee with the aim of regularizing its meetings and activating its role, but it has not succeeded.

He acknowledged the existence of a defect in the distribution of roles between ministries, which prevents them from fulfilling their duties towards people with disabilities and Bedouins.

It is noteworthy that the meeting comes within the context of implementing the program to protect the rights of people with disabilit
ies and Bedouins, which is implemented by the Palestinian Center for the Independence of the Legal Profession and the Judiciary ‘Equality’ in cooperation with the International Civil Forum and with the support of the Minority Rights Group (MRG).

Source: Maan News Agency