Good intentions will only take us so far. We need a law.
Guernsey currently does not have any legislation specifically preventing discrimination on the grounds of disability which means we cannot ask the UK to extend the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to the island.
Without this legislation it is still not against Guernsey law for a company to deny someone an interview for a job just because they have an impairment, and businesses are not obliged to take reasonable steps to make their existing premises and services accessible.
In November 2013, the States of Guernsey passed the Disability and Inclusion Strategy which included the proposal to start developing Disability Discrimination legislation. A report outlining what the legislation should look like was due to be presented to the States by the end of 2015, but this deadline was missed and a new target date has not been set.
The UK has had a Disability Discrimination Act (‘the DDA’) since 1995 and ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2009. The DDA has now been replaced by the Equality Act 2010.
99% of the world’s population live in countries that have signed the UN Convention. Currently, Guernsey and Jersey stand almost alone in the world, having neither developed domestic disability discrimination laws nor signed the Convention.