President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who had declared 2018 a Year for Disability, had in 2017 approved a law for persons with disabilities, forming the National Council for Persons with Disability (NCPD). The NCPD is an independent body that caters to the rights and needs of persons with disabilities in Egypt.
Last November, the head of Egypt’s National Council for Persons with Disability, Ashraf Marei who himself is on a wheelchair, addressed the UN conference on human rights in Geneva.
Mr Marei explained the substantial moves taken by the Egyptian State towards securing the rights of persons with disabilities on all levels.
On the political level, Mr Marei said Egypt’s parliament now boasted nine MPs with disabilities, seven of them women. Persons with disabilities have moreover been given a quota of seats in parliament. The Ministry of Sports and Youth, he said, is training 1200 young persons with disability to run in the upcoming local government elections.
Egypt is steadily moving, Mr Marei said, on the path of integrating children with disabilities in the education system, with 2030 set as the target to achieve fully integrated education. The Ministry of Education is already working on fulfilling the accessibility code in schools, and in training 5400 teachers on skills to work with pupils or students with disability.
On the health front, the law requires the Health Ministry to implement and update early detection and intervention programmes as far as disability is concerned. Two national initiatives have already been launched regarding hearing and visual disabilities. Appliances and aids needed for persons with disabilities have been exempted from custom duties.
As far as jobs are concerned, Mr Marei said, the law bans discrimination in jobs on account of disability, and exempts from taxes employers who employ persons with disability in 5 per cent of their jobs.
11 December 2019