The Cypriot Confederation of Disabled People's Organizations (CYSOA) expresses its optimism that soon there will be results regarding the preparation of new disability legislation, on the occasion of the start of the dialogue on the new legislation.
As stated in a KYSOA press release, last Friday the first consultation meeting of a KYSOA delegation took place with the Deputy Minister of Social Welfare, Marilena Evangelou, regarding the reform of the existing disability legislation.
It is noted that the members of the KYSOA delegation put before the Deputy Minister an integrated framework of a new legislation, which they consider self-evident to adopt in practice the philosophy, letter and spirit of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and to their rights to income, property, participation and socio-cultural integration, right to life, independent living, respect for home and family, rehabilitation, adequate standard of living, social protection etc. are respected.
They further requested that the new legislation include allowances, benefits and sponsorships that are calculated based on the real cost of disability and take serious account of given the huge, as reported, deficits in support services for people with disabilities.
Particular emphasis was placed on the first chapter of the new legislation, which according to KYSOA should adopt the definitions, as provided for in the international conventions ratified by Cyprus and in modern scientific approaches of disability, and in the chapter concerning the increase and expansion of social benefits, allowances and other financial benefits regardless of the form, degree of disability, income and age of people with disabilities.
"The main goal of KYSOA, in cooperation with the Deputy Ministry of Social Welfare, is the liberation of citizens with disabilities from charity and the philosophy of the Minimum Guaranteed Income, which unfortunately failed miserably to fight poverty, social exclusion and the poverty experienced by citizens with disabilities”, is stated in the press release, pointing out that “with the abundance of anachronistic provisions in the existing legislation that violate human rights and the humiliating disability assessment procedures, thousands of citizens with disabilities are excluded from the welfare state and social protection, which despite the dire socio-economic position in which they have fallen, they do not manage to pass the threshold of enjoying their rights and are condemned as second-class citizens to live completely excluded from the rest of society”.
"For the first time in many years, people with disabilities feel that their issues of social inclusion, rehabilitation, participation and socio-economic integration in the community are fully respected and taken seriously. attention”, the press release emphasizes.
Finally, optimism is expressed that “under the guidance of the Deputy Minister, Marilena Evangelos, the meetings that will follow will be even more productive and are convinced that there will be tangible results very soon in terms of the preparation of a modern new legislation for the participation, rehabilitation and integration of people with disabilities in the community, which will drastically change the lives of citizens with disabilities and their families and open avenues for optimistic prospects for the realization and respect of their inalienable rights and fundamental freedoms, as befits any favored democratic state”.