Time To Start a Data­base For Dis­abled, Says Sa­neem

Su­per­vi­sor of Elec­tions ap­proves UN con­ven­tion for the rights of dis­abled

Fiji Sun - - Nation - ARI­ETA VAKA­SUKAWAQA

Edited by Ru­si­ate Mataika ari­eta.vaka­sukawaqa@fi­jisun.com.fj

The Fi­jian Elec­tions Of­fice sees the cur­rent talks on the rat­i­fi­ca­tion of the United Na­tions Con­ven­tion on the Rights of Per­sons with Dis­abil­i­ties as an op­por­tune time for the cre­ation of a spe­cific data base for them.

“The rat­i­fi­ca­tion of the (con­ven­tion) will be an op­por­tune time for the cre­ation of a data base for per­sons with dis­abil­i­ties,” said Su­per­vi­sor of Elec­tions Mo­hammed Sa­neem. Mr Sa­neem made these com­ments yes­ter­day while fully ap­prov­ing the rat­i­fi­ca­tion of United Na­tions Con­ven­tion on the Rights of Per­sons with Dis­abil­i­ties in mak­ing sub­mis­sions to the Stand­ing Com­mit­tee on For­eign Af­fairs and De­fence in Par­lia­ment.

Mr Sa­neem said the set­ting up of a data base would open doors for ac­com­mo­da­tion of per­sons with dis­abil­i­ties for elec­toral pur­poses. “It may be in­clu­sive to know that are a gen­er­alised ap­proach is needed and an ad­min­is­tra­tive data base that can all be ac­cessed by all Gov­ern­ment agen­cies; when we want to record per­sons with dis­abil­i­ties,” he said. “If the per­sons that ac­quire ac­com­mo­da­tion; we may not be able to pro­vide the dif­fer­ent re­sources there­fore if we are able to record some ac­com­mo­da­tion that maybe needed we would be in a po­si­tion to pro­vide re­sources like ramps or to even no­tify staff to be aware that a per­son with dis­abil­ity would be at­tend­ing to your polling sta­tion,” he said. Mr Sa­neem said the data base would be a cru­cial step for fa­cil­i­tat­ing re­quired ac­com­mo­da­tion for per­sons with dis­abil­i­ties. He said the sec­tion 44 and 57 of the Fi­jian Elec­toral De­cree pro­vided the re­quire­ments for the elec­tions of­fice to look af­ter per­sons with dis­abil­i­ties. “We are re­quired to pro­vide as­sis­tance by polling of­fi­cials to per­sons who re­quire it; such as­sis­tance should be pro­vided in the pres­ence of an­other polling of­fi­cial and recorded in the pre­sid­ing record book; we didn’t record that vote was cast but we recorded we as­sisted a per­son who as­sisted the per­son and what sort of as­sis­tance was pro­vided.

“Polling ac­tiv­i­ties are also lo­cated at ground level and work ac­cess was pro­vided where pos­si­ble, in the 2014 all the booths were de­signed for per­sons on wheel chairs that al­lowed the per­son to vote,” Mr Sa­neem said.

He said the rat­i­fi­ca­tion would im­prove the re­port­ing com­pli­ance in in­ter­na­tional con­ven­tions with Fiji’s fu­ture elec­tions ob­server’s re­port.

Photo: Ari­eta Vaka­sukawaqa

Su­per­vi­sor of Elec­tions Mo­hammed Sa­neem (right), and di­rec­tor op­er­a­tions Ana­seini Sen­i­moli dur­ing the Stand­ing Com­mit­tee on For­eign Af­fairs and De­fence meet­ing in Par­lia­ment yes­ter­day.

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