Iraqi Constitution Grants People With Disabilities Health Care And
Rehabilitation, But Little Else
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
September 14, 2005
BAGHDAD, IRAQ--Iraqis with disabilities can expect to be cared for by the government and their families under the latest draft of the new Constitution.
In reviewing the text, however, I could not find any guarantees for the basic rights of the country's citizens that have disabilities.
Four articles under the first chapter, which addresses rights, do address disability issues.
Article 29 states that children have the right to "upbringing, education and care from their parents" and that those parents have the right to "respect and care from their children, especially in times of want, disability or old age."
Under Article 30 and 31, the government "guarantees social and health insurance" and the "right to health service" for Iraqi individuals and families, and "works to protect them from illiteracy, fear and poverty and provides them with housing and the means to rehabilitate and take care of them."
Article 32 then states that the government "cares for the disabled and those with special needs and guarantees their rehabilitation to integrate them in society."
An English translation of the text does not appear to address barriers to employment, education, public services, transportation or the legal system.
In fact, Article 14, which deals with civil and political rights, states that "Iraqis are equal before the law without discrimination because of sex, ethnicity, nationality, origin, color, religion, sect, belief, opinion or social or economic status". Discrimination on the basis of disability is not included in this protection.
Members of parliament are still negotiating the text of the Constitution. Iraqi citizens are scheduled to vote on it on October 15.
Text of the draft Iraqi Constitution