Term ‘disabled’ recognized inappropriate in Ukrainian legislation
The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has adopted the law, which provides for amending the law of Ukraine on ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol.
As stated on the Parliament’s website on September 7, 248 MPs voted for the adoption of the draft law on amendments to the law of Ukraine on ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol.
According to the explanatory memorandum, the law obliges to replace the word “disabled” with the word “person with disabilities.”
The law covers the rights of persons with disabilities and it was agreed with a number of NGOs dealing with the problems of such people.
These amendments were prepared, in particular, within the framework of the action plan for the implementation of the National Human Rights Strategy until 2020.
The Human Rights Information Centre recalls that on July 6 the corrections were made to the official Ukrainian translation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Ukrainian version previously contained the word “disabled.”
Now the wording of all the other official Ukrainian regulations, which contain a word “disabled” in their text, should be corrected.
When the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine ratified the Convention in 2009, an error in translation was made. Thus, the UN General Assembly adopted the title of the document in the English language – the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. However, when translated into Ukrainian, the official title became the Convention on the Rights of Disabled Persons. The important word “person” was removed from the wording.
At the same time, Yulia Sachuk, the Vice President of NGO of people with disabilities “Generation of Successful Action” believes that simply replacing one word is insufficient.
“Now we have corrected wording, but it is still very difficult to call the official translation perfect,” she said.
The expert says that such a change can hardly be viewed as a victory, because the Convention, being one of the main tools for protection of the rights of people with disabilities around the world, is a very important document for Ukraine, the content and the text of which influences the further development of legislation in this area. Therefore abandoned errors, inaccuracies, and mistakes will continue to negatively affect the lives of people with disabilities.