The Minister of Law and Constitutional Affairs, Mr. Lebohang Hlaele said education is a human right, and it plays a pivotal role in making visually impaired people realise their fullest potential in life.
This he said at the two-day Ending the Book Famine in Africa Seminar that commenced today at the Victoria Hotel in Maseru.
Mr. Hlaele said as the Ministry of Law and Constitutional Affairs, it is their responsibility to protect the rights of the disabled, adding that there is a need for Lesotho to engage in the Marrakesh Treaty which facilitates access to published works for persons who are blind, visually impaired, or otherwise print disabled.
In his presentation, the Chairperson of Africa Marrakesh Treaty, Mr. Jace Nair said there is need for the government of Lesotho to eliminate book famine and harmonise legislation, saying if the government can rectify the Marrakesh Treaty then every person will have access to knowledge and information, regardless of their disabilities.
The Marrakesh Treaty is the first copyright treaty with the human rights perspective and was designed in line with the United Nations (UN) Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities, to facilitate their access to published works.
Sharing the same sentiments, Mrs. ‘Mabataung Khetsi from the Lesotho National League of the Visually Impaired Persons (LNLVIP) expressed their joy for having been invited to the seminar.
She wished if their participation, as the organisation for the blind and visually impaired, could have been called upon (at an early stage) for the design of the advocacy programme.
She pleaded with the relevant ministry to facilitate with the ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty, saying it will promote equality so that they as the blind, partially blind, and print disabled persons may also feel comfortable in their own country.
In an interview, the Minister of Social Development Mrs ‘Matebatso Doti revealed that her Ministry had been assigned with the responsibility to ensure that vulnerable people, more especially the disabled, are entitled to proper work, education, and libraries to mention a few.
Mrs. Doti also pleaded with Basotho to welcome disabled people and support them.
Marrakesh Treaty was adopted on 27 June 2013 in Marrakesh, Morocco, to allow for copyright exceptions to facilitate the creation of accessible versions of books and other works for the visually impaired.