DISABILITY RIGHTS IN SVG
OVERVIEW OF THE DOMESTIC SITUATION
In Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, persons living with mental and physical disabilities face many unique challenges that other persons in society may not experience.
ERAO SVG has observed that many of these persons experience exclusion, stigma, prejudice, discrimination, abuse, and violence in Vincentian society. Some persons even view them as "cursed", "demon-possessed", or suffering from specific conditions as a result of a "sin" they or another person may have committed.
Persons with disabilities also face issues concerning low self-esteem, rejection from families, homelessness, difficulties accessing public places, transportation, education and the labour market, amongst other things.
Notwithstanding this, ERAO SVG is aware that progress has been made over the years concerning the rights of persons living with disabilities. There is a Mental Health Centre on the island of St. Vincent dedicated to the care of persons facing mental health challenges, as well as the existence of several schools focused on the education of persons who are differently abled such as the School for Children with Special Needs, Kingstown and the School for Children with Special Needs, Georgetown.
ERAO SVG is also aware that over the years, various infrastructure has been built or renovated in order to better accommodate the differently-abled.
In Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, persons living with disabilities have some protections under the law.
Currently, ERAO SVG is also aware that the State is in the process of creating a Disabilities Act and revising the outdated Mental Health Act.
However, apart from these laws or proposed laws, very few pieces of legislation exist that address the needs of persons living with disabilities. Additionally, even when their needs are being addressed, it is not done effectively.
Examples of some laws in SVG that touch on or may be applicable to the rights of persons living with mental and/or physical disabilities are outlined below:
Domestic Violence Act
Criminal Procedure Code
Protection of Employment Act
Disabilities Bill (Not passed yet)
Mental Health Act (In the process of being revised)
Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (Non-contentious Probate and Administration of Estates) Rules, 2017
Power of Attorney Act
Apart from the aforementioned local laws, SVG has signed and ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. However, it has not signed nor ratified the Inter-American Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities.
DISABILITY DOES NOT MEAN INABILITY!
ERAO SVG DISABILITY
OVERVIEW OF ACTIVITIES/EVENTS
21st January 2023 - "Suicide Awareness: Identifying, Preventing and Empowering Workshop" at Paradise Beach Hotel facilitated by Dr. Alisa Alvis.
30th July 2022 - "Depression and Mental Health" Symposium at the Conference Room upstairs the Music Centre in Kingstown facilitated by Kimmette Robertson.
9th September 2023 - "Creating more inclusive societies for persons living with physical disabilities" Zoom webinar facilitated by Janiel Odle.
1st April 2023 - "Understanding Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion in the Caribbean Context" online workshop facilitated by Melanie Jacob.
5th March 2022 - "Suicide Awarness & Prevention: Identifying, Counteracting and Empowering" online seminar facilitated by Petra Richmond.
See photo of flyer here.