A Critical Analysis of The Law Governing Persons With Disabilities in Zambia With Particular Reference to Empowerment

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Chanda, Mulenga Maybin
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Throughout the preceding decades of the twentieth century and continuing into the century, many governments in the world have undertaken efforts to encourage employment opportunities for persons with disabilities. Legislation of diverse types has been formulated and International Labour Organization has offered guidance and information to governments throughout the world. Persons with disabilities like anyone else are supposed to enjoy parity of opportunities and treatment in relation to accessing employment which, wherever possible, corresponds to their own choice and takes account of their individual suitability for such employment. Persons with disabilities face patterns of discrimination. All the problems faced by persons with disabilities can be termed as disability-based discrimination when accessing employment. A piece of legislation called the Persons with Disabilities Act was passed in 1996. This piece of legislation does not allow discrimination on the basis of disability. Consequently, the question to regard is whether the law is enough in addressing disability-based discrimination when accessing employment. It is a well known fact that disability restricts access to employment. This means that persons with disabilities are excluded economically and socially. One therefore wonders, is it that there is no employment for persons with disabilities as a matter of fact, or that they are deprived of employment by virtue of their condition? The research has revealed that there are many laws that govern issues related to persons with disabilities. However, persons with disabilities habitually find employment difficult to acquire and feel excluded from the labour market because of their disabilities. This impenetrability is often traced to the attitudes of employers toward employing persons with disabilities. Persons with disabilities are considered to be of little value in the sphere of employment. Following this, they are discriminated against as they access employment. It is therefore recommended that the government and other relevant authorities should take action to raise awareness in society about persons with disabilities' rights, needs, potential and their contribution. Secondly, there is need to empower persons with disabilities to exercise their human rights, particularly in the field of employment Lastly, other recommendations include: the funding to Zambia Agency for Persons with Disabilities should be increased, NGOs should coordinate, integrate persons with disabilities into employment, establish effective data base on persons with disabilities in employment, and create a Tribunal for Persons with Disabilities.
Disability Law(empowerment)-Zambia , Handicapped(empowerment)-Zambia