Maseru – The Minister of Law and Constitutional Affairs Honourable Lebohang Hlaele says education is an important human right which plays a pivotal role in making visually impaired people realise their full potential.
Opening a seminar on ending book famine in Africa held in Maseru Honourable Hlaele it is the Ministry’s responsibility to protect disabled people’s human rights, noting 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 at the seminar, Chairperson of Africa Marrakesh Treaty, Mr. Jace Nair stated a need for government of Lesotho to eliminate book famine and harmonise legislation, saying if government can rectify the Marrakesh Treaty, every person will have access to knowledge and information regardless of their disabilities.
He said it is the first copyright treaty with a human rights perspective and has been made in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, to facilitate their access to published works.
Mrs. ‘Mabataung Khetsi of Lesotho National League of the Visually Impaired Persons appreciated their invitation to the seminar, and called on the relevant Ministry to facilitate ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty, saying it will promote equality so the blind, partially sighted and print disabled people may also feel comfortable in their country.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Social Development Honourable ‘Matebatso Doti applauded government for holding the seminar and pleaded with Basotho to welcome disabled people and support them.
The Marrakesh Treaty was adopted on June 27th 2013 in Marrakesh, Morocco, to allow for copyright exceptions to facilitate the creation of accessible versions of books and other copyrighted works for visually impaired persons.