Persons with disabilities in Dubai will have the right to inclusion in education, workplace, and integration into society, under a new law issued on Monday.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, issued Law No. (3) of 2022 on the rights of people with disabilities in the Emirate of Dubai.
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, also issued Executive Council Resolution No. (1) of 2022 pertaining to the Executive Regulation of the Law on the rights of people with disabilities in the Emirate of Dubai, which seeks to ensure the inclusion and integration of people of determination into society and enable them to fully participate in all spheres of life. The Law also seeks to include people of determination in the process of drafting policies and legislations that concern them or may affect their quality of life.
The Law is aligned with the efforts of Dubai Government to develop a comprehensive legal framework that protects the rights of people of determination and ensure their integration into the broader community.
The Law sets forth the rights of people with disabilities and the services that relevant entities should provide them. These include inclusive education at every stage, rehabilitation, inclusive job opportunities in all sectors, and healthcare, therapeutic and social services, in addition to access to all services such as worship, police and legal services. Relevant entities should also offer people with disabilities the ability to access data and information through various platforms and inform them about their legal rights. The Law also seeks to ensure people with disabilities can access banking services and participate in various sports and entertainment programmes, among others. The Law also outlines the tasks and responsibilities of government entities in implementing this Law.
The Law also creates a permanent committee named the ‘Higher Committee to Protect the Rights of People of Determination’. The Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, will issue a decision on the formation of the committee, which will include representatives of relevant entities as well as representatives of people of determination. The Committee is tasked with supervising all affairs concerning people of determination in Dubai, and implementing policies, plans and initiatives aimed at protecting their rights.
The Committee is also tasked with proposing legislations for protecting the rights of people with disabilities and integrating them into society.
Furthermore, the Law describes the actions that violate the rights of people of determination. The Law also tasks the Community Development Authority in Dubai with developing a system to allow people with disabilities and their guardians to report any violations of their rights. According to the Law, a person with a disability, his or her guardian, or anyone who witnesses a violation of the rights or mistreatment of people with disabilities, should report the incident to relevant authorities.
The Community Development Authority in Dubai is tasked with issuing identification cards for people with disabilities registered in Dubai. The identification cards will help people with disabilities access facilities and services allocated to them.
Violators of the new Law and the decisions issued pursuant to the Law will be subject to fines listed in the Executive Regulation of the Law. Fines will be doubled in case an offence is repeated within a year of the first offence, up to a maximum of AED100,000.
The Dubai Statistics Centre is tasked with creating a database of people with disabilities in Dubai, which will be used as a reference by decision makers for strategic planning and government policy development on matters concerning people of determination.
The new Law replaces Law No. (2) of 2012 pertaining to the Protection of the Rights of People with Disabilities in the Emirate of Dubai. The Law also annuls any other legislation that may contradict it. The newly issued Law is effective from the date of its publication in the Official Gazette.