THE Fiji National Council for Disabled Persons is looking forward to increased rights and recognition for persons with disabilities with the Draft Disability Decree 2013.
Executive director Dr Sitiveni Yanuyanutawa said the council had reviewed the FNCDP Act of 1994 and came up with the draft decree, which is in the office of the Solicitor General.
He said one of the main limitations of the Act was that it "did not have any teeth", as it was only an administrative legislation.
"Most of the things captured in the UN Convention of the Rights for Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) are incorporated into the Draft Disability Decree 2013," he said.
"It will give persons with a disability more powers to exercise their rights to live dignified and productive lives."
According to the UN convention, some of its key points are the priority of accessibility for persons with disabilities and the right to work.
"Accessibility is one of the big thing that changes the life and perception of a person with disability," Dr Yanuyanutawa said.
"Now it's just the ratification to make it in totality."
He thanked the Ministry of Social Welfare for its support and assistance in compiling the draft decree.
Social Welfare Minister Dr Jiko Luveni called the ratification of the CRPD a new marking.
A 2009 study found that there were 11,402 people with disabilities in Fiji.