BLP candidate Edmund Hinkson: No hope for the disabled under a DLP government!

by Edmund Hinkson

It is now over five years that the Owen Arthur Administration signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which came into force on 3rd May, 2008. This DLP Government in the meanwhile has apparently made no attempt to bring to Parliament Legislation which will ratify this Convention.

Indeed, the members of the disabled community and those of us who believe in their cause have had, over the last five months, to go to the extreme of signing a petition to the Prime Minister and his Government, urging them to pass the Convention into law.

The Government’s enactment of Disabilities Legislation will lead to persons with disabilities gaining more favourable educational and training opportunities than is now the case. It will lead to a large number of the estimated over five per cent of our population who are differently-abled having a greater chance to realize their full potential and to contribute to national development, as is the right of any citizen of Barbados. Furthermore, Legislation providing for affirmative action programmes beneficial to them will act as a catalyst in facilitating their employment, self-employment and otherwise, in areas of work for which they qualify and are capable of performing. Such law should also outlaw all forms of discrimination at the workplace on the basis of disability.

The DLP cannot by any measure validly claim to be putting people first and to be building a society and not only an economy when it has continuously ignored the grave predicament in which the vast majority of persons with disabilities in Barbados and their caregivers find themselves in.

The recent Country Assessment of Living Conditions report indicates that a substantial percentage of persons with disabilities comprise the 19.8 per cent of people in our Country who are presently living in poverty. The sum total of this Government’s attempt to better the position of the differently-abled in its present term of office has been to raise the disabilities pension by a mere $2.00 every two weeks two years ago.

Meanwhile, the Public has not heard a word from the Minister of Social Care, Steve Blackett, or any other Government official as to when this Government intends to bring Disabilities Legislation to the House. This position is all the more appalling in light of the statement by Chris Sinckler, at the time the responsible Minister, on 18th January, 2009 that “we are just short of bringing this Bill to Parliament”. This promise surely cannot be one of the plethora of promises to which Mr. Blackett referred when he commented last month that the Government should have come clean with Barbadians a long time ago on the issue of its unfulfilled promises.

Attorney-at-Law Edmund Hinkson, BLP St. James North Candidate, is a member of the Association for the Blind and Deaf and of the Council for the Disabled


Filed under Barbados, Human Rights, Politics

14 responses to “BLP candidate Edmund Hinkson: No hope for the disabled under a DLP government!

  1. Sunshine Sunny Shine

    Well there is no hope for either under a BLP government. SO what is new

  2. what will they think of next.

    Another useless article from the tiefing Barbados Labour Party.

  3. Sunshine Sunny Shine

    On another note concerning the DLP Dennis Kellman – the long standing and highly outspoken politician – indicated today in the Nations News that the mergers of some of Barbados private sector companies with Trinidad and Tobago are hurting the private sector.

    Well Dennis I got news for you; if you are going to sell the family silver to someone outside of the family do expect that that someone will bring their share of changes and their own family to look after their interests. I mean after all Dennis we built our economy on Tourism and now that the tourist like black belly sheep have gone to further pastures to graze we now looking for something to invest in. Dennis ain’t this typical of Bajans to respond only when crisis levels have been reached? So tell me Dennis how do you plan to deal with the influx of Trinis into Barbados most of whom have business interests here. Will we seek to do something about it our simply sit on our “Royals” and do nothing but talk talk talk and complain. What say ye Dennis.

  4. victor

    Mr Hinkson, can you explain why the lift for disabled at Speightstown library (situated on the first floor, ideal location for a library?) has NEVER worked since installation? What is the point of installing ramps for wheelchair access when there are flights of stairs and an inoperable lift facing a wheelchair user? Under which government was the lift installed? How long ago?

  5. 247

    No pocket protection against the long hand and fingers of politicians…dey wud teef from a blind man, tek gold teet frum de dead, sell yuh organs while yuh deh by dem arxing fuh help, dey duz breed wood ants fuh de disabled wid wooden legs and pitch marbles wid glass eyes.

  6. victor

    Well yes, Anonymous, I see your point, to which Mr Hinkson has not deigned to reply, I note. Probably too busy ramping up some other deal whereby Barbados agrees to accept funding from an international organisation for the disabled which funded the building of the ramps, if not the whole complex at Speightstown library building on the CONDITION THEY INSTALL A LIFT so that the disable could get to the first floor library. Ramps went in, lift went in but hey, inoperable so it looked all good at the Opening Day on TV and splashed across the papers. Have you seen the plaque?!! Oh, not forgetting the Bank and the Post Office…benefit all round, apart from the elderly and disabled who are prohibited from using the library. If you are elderly, or infirm, it would be lovely to spend the day browsing in the library well forget it, it’s just not your lucky day.

  7. Sunshine Sunny Shine

    OH can you peope stop hype about some stupid lift. You know very well that the lift installed was a second hand lift that needed parts. The cost for the new lift was shfted to a second hand lift because only a quarter of the money was used to finance the second hand lift whilst three quarters was pocketed. End of story

  8. Anonymous

    SSS, wuh hype um iz bowt politishuns being relentless teefs? Or dat pocketed money shunt get a bye? If anyting, dey izznt enuff hype bowt heh wid de bare boo we drunging in….

  9. 3453400-88-34c

    Barbados DONE.
    Get over it.

  10. victor

    Oh, Sunnyshine, Sunshine or whatnot, let’s hear the whole story today, not where it lef off, years ago. What’s the deal TODAY? CAN A PERSON IN A WHEELCHAIR GET INTO THE LIBRARY IN SPEIGHTSTOWN OR NOT???

  11. Sunshine Sunny Shine


    Rather or not it work is not the point. The point is the Brains of Barbados did not consider the disable when they built the darn library because most this country, including the legislator, sees the disable as a burdensome and liability group. If you doubt me look at the eldery trying to get onto a transport board bus. I say no more.

    The disable in this country are only now being considered because pressure was brought to bare on the Barbados legislator years ago to acknowledge infrastructure that caters to their needs. In any event they will have to now because there are recognizing that there is something called disable tourism and thus systems have to be put in place to attract these potential dollars to our ailing economy. You are pompersetting over the elevator that never work. If the government wanted it or any other elevators to work they would be working. Why worry about an elevator that cost a few hundred dollars in draw backs when I can focus on major developmental projects that will bring thousands if not millions in drawbacks for me and my family.

  12. victor

    The fact that the lift in Speightstown Library does not work IS important and the fact that you call it a “stupid lift” implies that you don’t care about the very people, elderly or infirm, who might find the library a place where they, regardless of their disability, could just go in and enjoy the books or the TV, read the newspapers which they might not be able to afford otherwise.

    SSS, that is the whole point of a public library; that those who might not otherwise have ACCESS to BOOKS can have a bit of a chance.

    Did you know that the word “pompersetting” is unique to Barbados, by the way? How appropriate. Am i right in that the word combines “pompous” and “setting yourself” above others? Well, who knew? Now we do. I await your further information.
    All about you and your family; yes, I get it but the world has changed. Nowadays we look after those disabled people and give them a chance. I wonder what you would feel like if you were a parent of a disabled child?

    It was never about what that one elevator would bring in, Barbados tourist dollars, the point of the elevator was to help people. It was Bajans who creamed-off the money for themselves.
    It is gross that local politicians rant on about those who are disabled whilst gaining infusions of dollars from International Aid Organisations to rectify the situation when there is this glaring example right in your face. Does the international money do any good? We can live in wonder whose pocket it goes into. I know, because I have been there.

  13. victor

    SSS, you can probably see that it is very late sooo sleepy but just wanted to comment that I must say, people are generally kinder to the elderly in Bbds, on the bus, don’t you think? No, I bet you don’t, they are horrible and arrogant to the elderly on the bus. Why???

  14. Sunshine Sunny Shine


    I can see that your inability to comprehend the written metaphorical has cast your intepretation into the skewed. My tone is not the
    suggestion of my thinking but more so my recourse to what you wrote. It is me depicting the thinking of the political legislator in the description that draws the assumption that the elevator in their eyes is stupid and not deserving of its intended function. I am not discriminatory towards the disable nor do I show an active ill-will towards them. They are people who deserve the best of human amenities and infrastructure, which provides the greatest ease and access specific to their needs. My commentary towards all that has been said on this subject is filled with sarcastic remarks reflective of what those in the decision making process considers important and unimportant. Look carefully at what is important to the politician annd then you will see where the focus of our development really is.

    Please read what I wrote again, this time open your eyes to the message and not the messenger.