Ministry Promises New Disability Law Will Be Enforced Soon
 
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Afghanistan

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A new law to improve the lives of more than 800,000 people living with a disability in Afghanistan will be enacted soon, the government ministry overseeing disability affairs said Monday.

"One of our achievements is the approval of the law for rights and privileges of disabled and families of martyrs [people who have died in acts of war]. The laws are set to be in place next year and will be enforced as much as possible," said Minister of Labor, Martyrs & Disabled Affairs Amina Afzali.

The law has already been approved by Parliament and is awaiting final approval from the Council of Ministers, she added.

Afzali made the comments at a gathering in Kabul to for International Day of People with Disability, observed worldwide on December 3.

War is the main cause of disability in Afghanistan which has been in a state of conflict for three decades.

One of the thousands of people with a disability, Amina Azimi, said she lost her leg during the civil war and has been lobbying for more assistance from the government ever since.

"Some work has been done by the ministry and we hope that the law for rights and privileges to the disabled will have a practical aspect," she told TOLOnews.

Shirpacha who lost both his legs 20 years ago during the civil war was critical of what he described as the refusal of the government to improve the lives of those with a disability.

"We pass everyday life with many problems -- the government has done nothing for us. We are always looking to find a job and there are no jobs for us," Shirpacha said.

Statistics say that of the 800,000 people with a disability, 41 percent are women and about 2,000 are children who are eligible to go to school.

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