A slew of new laws aimed toward protecting the disabled, the elderly and other vulnerable groups could possibly be before Parliament by the start of 2023.
Minister of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs Kirk Humphrey said on Tuesday that the highly anticipated pieces of laws will soon be ready.
“I just received in my hand the ultimate elderly policy. We’re told that by the top of November we can have the draft instructions for the laws, which tells me that by early next yr we must always have draft laws. We’ve the draft laws for individuals with disabilities. We even have the laws just about complete for the kid protection policy,” he announced as he delivered temporary remarks firstly of the Responsive Social Protection within the Caribbean Training Programme on the Accra Beach Hotel.
Despite the laws on the horizon, Humphrey said “there’s loads more work to be done”.
“We’re loads higher off today than we were a yr ago, but we’re still not nearly as good as we must be,” he told participants of the programme which is hosted by the World Food Programme in partnership with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA).
While receiving 95 new tablets donated to his ministry by the co-hosts, Humphrey stressed the importance of the training programme, citing the necessity for the region, and Barbados particularly, to refine processes and frameworks that govern social services for residents.
He said this was particularly vital given the rise in natural disasters and global shocks.
“If we’ve got a robust social protection system, if we’ve got one which works, we not only respond faster but then we’ve got a bit bit more resistance to take care of it higher in the primary place. And, due to this fact, if we are able to construct those systems, we prevent those worst-case scenarios from happening,” Humphrey contended.
“I felt very strongly that in COVID, and oftentimes during a number of these shocks, the issue is that we treat this stuff as in the event that they aren’t social problems…. COVID was a social problem and we treated COVID primarily as if it were a medical issue – which it was, in fact – however it was also a social problem and if we kept that on the forefront of our pondering then we’d put in extra systems to have the option to assist the poor.
“I do know, for instance, that we at the moment are coping with individuals with disabilities who suffered immensely during COVID because we were so concerned about our capability to have the option to assist people to live, that we forgot people needed to feel alive at the same time as they live…. I fear that if we’ve got a really serious disaster now, that those amongst us who need that support essentially the most may not get the extent of support that they necessarily need, and that’s the reason we’d like to do that training,” Minister Humphrey added. (SB)