The Council of Ministers has approved the draft reform of article 49 of the Spanish Constitution (EC) to eliminate the term “handicapped” and allow people with disabilities to participate in society on equal terms with other citizens.
“In the elections I felt isolated, I also wanted to be a citizen”
With this approval, the parliamentary processing of the first social reform of the EC begins, unanimously demanded by social entities, which have spoken of “historic day” for the rights of people with disabilities and their families.
The new article 49 replaces the term “handicapped” with that of “persons with disabilities”. But the initiative goes beyond a change of terminology in the constitutional language and supposes “a comprehensive and in-depth reform in the structure and content” of the norm, the Government spokesperson, María Jesús Montero, highlighted at the press conference. after the Council of Ministers.
Thus, it updates the Magna Carta with the 2006 Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which has represented a turning point in the recognition and protection of their rights.
People with disabilities become the protagonists of the law and any type of discrimination will be expressly prohibited.
It establishes the obligation of the public powers to promote their freedom and real and effective equality and expressly recognizes, and for the first time in the Constitution, the particular protection required by women and girls with disabilities, as they are a particularly vulnerable and discriminated group.
“With this reform we are in a position to continue modernizing the Magna Carta to improve and adapt it to real Spain,” said Montero, who stressed that “the need was evident” to offer greater guarantees to more than three million people with disabilities. that is in Spain.
This is one of the first measures after the state of alarm waned, since the constitutional modification could not be made in time of war, in states of alarm, exception or siege, as the Constitution itself states.
The initiative has been transferred to the Council of Ministers by the first vice president, Carmen Calvo. Her colleague, the head of Social Rights and Agenda 2030, Ione Belarra, has offered to work in partnership to guarantee the rights of people with disabilities.
“From now on, Spain is more aligned with the human rights discourse, and a legal, social and moral anomaly with people with disabilities is being repaired, because the effective recognition of human rights is the goal and path of the Government of Spain “, Belarra highlighted on her Twitter account.
The Spanish Committee of Representatives of People with Disabilities (Cermi) has highlighted the importance of suppressing “disabled”, a term “hurtful and that does not fit with the social model of disability”, but above all, that the new article “much more broad and comprehensive, crystallizes the vision of human rights in accordance with the international and European framework. ”
For the Spanish Confederation of People with Disabilities (Cocemfe) the reform “incorporates the human rights approach, the defense of inclusion and independent living, the gender perspective, dialogue with organizations and inclusive language.”