Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, Gender and Child Affairs, Ayanna Webster-Roy, said Government is committed to a truly inclusive T&T for persons with a disability.
She made the statement while attending a Down Syndrome Awareness seminar at the Hyatt Regency in Port of Spain yesterday, in commemoration of World Down Syndrome Day.
Webster-Roy said: “I heard the call and plea for legislation and yes, that is necessary but I often say when I speak in the Parliament that we cannot legislate people into good behaviour. Yes, there’s a place and a need for legislation but there’s a greater call for all of us as individuals to strive to do better and be better.”
She said citizens must make a conscious decision to ensure the country lives up to its fullest potential.
Webster-Roy announced plans to implement a National Child Policy which recognises children’s rights as fundamental human rights and highlights the need to ensure that children are loved, valued, nurtured, protected, empowered and supported.
“The National Policy on Gender and Development recognises the importance of socialization with youth, this being a period that embeds values, attitudes and behaviours for social norms,” she said.
“It also seeks to optimize functionality of persons with disability as it explores gender specific experiences and needs related to challenges caused by disability for example in the areas of education, security, social adjustment and employment.”
Webster-Roy said: “We can’t just talk inclusivity, we have to put it into action. We have to make sure this is part of our everyday lives. We have to wholeheartedly adopt the concept of inclusivity.”