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New laws needed to protect disabled rights

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Legislation is need to ensure the rights of the disabled across all aspects of life, the Cyprus Confederation of Disability Organisations (Kysoa) said on Monday.

“The core objective of Kysoa is to collaborate with the ministry of social welfare to address the limitations of the current approach, moving away from philanthropy and the Minimum Guaranteed Income (GMI) strategy, which has faced challenges in combating poverty, social exclusion and destitution among people with disabilities,” Kysoa said.

“Existing legislation, marked by outdated provisions and assessment procedures, violate human rights and leave thousands of people with disabilities outside the purview of social welfare and protection, relegating them to a second-class status, fully excluded from the rest of society.”

The group has called for the inclusion of allowances, benefits, and grants in the new legislation, calculated based on the actual cost of disability.

Kysoa highlighted the pressing need for addressing deficiencies in supportive services for individuals with disabilities.

Particular attention was also given to the first chapter of the proposed legislation, stressing the adoption of definitions outlined in international conventions ratified by Cyprus and modern scientific approaches to disability.

On Friday Kysoa had a meeting with Deputy Minister of Social Welfare Marilena Evangelou to discuss reforms to the existing disability legislation.

Kysoa’s expectation is that future meetings, under Evangelou’s guidance, will continue to be focused and result-oriented.

“Kysoa remains optimistic that modern and pragmatic new legislation addressing the participation, rehabilitation and integration of individuals with disabilities into the community will be developed shortly,” the group said.

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