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The National Disability Council of Namibia's Chief Executive Officer has called on the public to participate in the ongoing discussions around the Persons with Disabilities Bill.

The National Disability Council of Namibia is consulting with people with disabilities from the Erongo, Otjozondjupa, and Kunene regions.

Participants, who gathered at Swakopmund, are giving their contribution to the development of a disability bill as well as to the National Policy on Disability.

Since Namibia signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2007, the country has been developing and reviewing policies and legislation to ensure that they align with the convention.

The CEO of the National Disability Council, Angelique Philander, says the current legislation for people with disabilities is outdated and not comprehensive.

"To all our stakeholders out there, but also to persons with disabilities out there, this is now the time to ensure that Namibia crafts the necessary legislative framework that will speak to their rights and their needs, so it is necessary for them to participate in these consultative workshops, whether it is in person, online, or coming into our offices and providing us the input. It's their time to ensure what they want to see in terms of their human rights protection and in terms of their needs and rights."

"This process will not only ensure that Namibia complies with its international obligations but will equally ensure that persons with disabilities in Namibia receive the required protection. It is important that the open and inclusive policy-making process that these legislative frameworks are following is transparent, evidence-driven, accessible, and responsive to a wide range of citizens as possible, especially persons with disabilities," said Erongo Governor Neville Andre.

The central regions of |Khomas and Omaheke were already consulted, but more sessions are scheduled to take place in the north and southern regions.

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Renathe Rengura