by STAFF WRITER
March 3, 2022
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Mar 3, CMC – A study on access to justice for persons with disabilities in Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries has found that there are several shortcomings that need to be addressed to level the playing field for those individuals.
The findings of the ‘Access to Justice for Persons with Disabilities in the Caribbean Survey’ conducted in 2020 are contained in the Canadian Government-funded Improved Access to Justice in the Caribbean (IMPACT Justice) Project’s ‘Report on Access to Justice for Persons with Disabilities in CARICOM Countries’.
In analyzing the results of the survey, the report draws attention, in the words of persons with disabilities, on how they access justice in comparison to society in general.
“Issues highlighted in the responses of persons who participated in the survey reveal continued deficiencies in the provision for access to buildings in which persons with disabilities do business, including courthouses; the need for amenities such as disability-friendly bathrooms; improved arrangements for transportation; and accommodation for the hearing and sight-impaired,” stated a press release issued on Thursday by IMPACT Justice.
“Ultimately, the responses show a need for further interventions that would provide an opportunity for persons with disabilities to enjoy full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.”
The IMPACT Justice Project said it hopes the study will be useful for the information it provides policymakers, the general public and justice sector officials on the views of persons with disabilities on how they are treated generally, and by the justice sector; and would “bolster regional governments in their resolve to enact legislation setting out the rights of persons with disabilities” in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
IMPACT Justice said that in the near future, it will publish another report which will analyze cases taken to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to show how that committee has addressed the myriad of impediments faced by persons with disabilities in accessing justice.
It has also undertaken a study on Access to Justice for the Elderly in CARICOM Countries which it hopes to complete in the coming months.
The ‘Report on Access to Justice for Persons with Disabilities in CARICOM Countries’ provides an overview of the UN Convention and its accompanying Protocols as implemented by 11 CARICOM Member States: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago.
It is also an expansion of the scope of the IMPACT Justice Project’s 2017 study, which was designed to review the issue of access to justice for persons with disabilities in OECS Member States only.