News paper reading
The first article (July 4) is about the growing dangers of Kuwait work trucks that travel on roads while being severely overloaded with logs, iron rods, furniture, and water. There are several reasons why these vehicles have become veritable road hazards responsible for numerous accidents. Reckless driving was cited as one of the highest cause of road accidents involving these trucks.
Some citizens attested to instances showing drivers’ utter lack of consideration for pedestrians even to those who have physical disabilities. One man recalled an incident involving his cousin who was a cripple, who died after being run over by a lumber truck. Others cite poor vehicle conditions as another primary cause of accidents.
One British expatriate living in Kuwait narrated how water tankers usually have bad brakes and how being overburdened with water makes it more difficult for truckers to maneuver. He also narrated about one instance of recklessness wherein the truck driver suddenly cut in front of him, almost killing him was he not able to step on his brakes. Another hazard was trucks with loose fastenings of furniture or iron bars. Such objects fall from the truck and cause trouble for motorists behind the truck.
The article’s reporter discussed an incident about how he himself experienced one such incident. Safety measures taken to prevent hazards from vehicles on the road are vague. There are certain periods of time where the law prohibits trucks from driving inside the city but such laws are often violated by truckers and Kuwait’s local police seem to be inadequate in preventing such violations.
This issue is clearly a violation of Article 3 of the Declaration of Human rights which seeks to protect the life, liberty and security of all persons. The truckers’ lack of discretion with regards to the pedestrians that they interact with constitutes an utter disregard to Article 3 which should be addressed by the Kuwait government, especially since the usual victims of such accidents are those who are disabled.
The second article (July 5) is about how the Kuwait Parliament gives ardent attention to the needs of disabled individuals. The Parliament has released an order calling on state agencies to provide specialized services to people with special needs. Kuwait National Assembly member Saad al-Sharia discussed in the 4th Arab Parliamentary Symposium on Disabled Persons’ Disabilities how due attention should be provided to people with special needs especially in the aspect of integrating such people into society as productive individuals. The Parliament member gave emphasis on investing in the use of human resources in nation building and service.
This move by the parliament is in respect of human rights. The parliament hopes to incarnate the deeper meaning of humanity and humanitarian causes towards the development of its civilization. Specifically, parliament aims to create specialized educational institutions to address the needs of special children who are not able to learn through conventional means. Parliament aims to establish more centers for rehabilitation research. It also aims to modernize such institutions that currently exist. The project will also create clinics and entertainment utilities that can cover people of all ages and of all physical, mental and psychological disabilities.
The third article (July 6) reports the strengthening of the Kuwaiti resolve to provide better governmental services. It discusses how the state is funneling ample finances and gathering substantial human resources to raise public awareness of special needs in its continuing advocacy for human rights. In an interview with Secretary of the Arab Parliamentary Caucus of the National Assembly Jamal Al-Kandari, it was revealed that Kuwait has already “mapped out” specific plans for disabled individuals to be properly integrated into the society and assume roles that will be both productive and fulfilling.
In the ongoing symposia for disabled individuals, legislation for the protection of the human rights of disabled individuals was also put into focus. Much emphasis was given on the current dangers that face disabled individuals in different parts of Kuwait. Dr. al-Shuraye’s lecture, he discussed that as these people are not as mobile as normal individuals, they are more prone to becoming victims of accidents especially on the road. It was concluded by the article that the Kuwaiti delegation will arrive at several useful recommendations to serve the interests of handicapped individuals in Kuwait.
The fourth article (July 7) narrates how the Farwaniya Hospital in coordination with Kuwait’s Ministry of Interior has made the announcement of building a security kiosk at the entrance of the hospital. The move was made after several alarming actions taken by several individuals that threatened to harm both patients and doctors inside the facility. Several weeks prior to the announcement, it was reported that the hospital received an anonymous terrorist threat due to some of the relatives of the patients who were unhappy with hospital management. Other instances involved violence perpetrated by relatives of patients who died while inside hospital care.
The relatives of the deceased patients felt that the doctors were responsible for their relatives’ deaths and took matters into their own hands. Although no incident of serious injury has yet to be recorded inside hospital premises, hospital officials nonetheless became concerned with preempting any such possibilities from actually occurring. This prompted hospital officials to set up meetings to solve growing problems in securing hospital premises. It was brought up that the lack of means for proper visitor identification is the biggest risk that the hospital has of intrusion. This led to the forwarding of the idea of setting up a security kiosk that would be able to properly identify individuals visiting patients inside the hospital so as to secure hospital patients and personnel.
The last article (July 8) discusses how Kuwait officials and concerned groups currently feel about Kuwait’s move to give emphasis to the human rights of disabled individuals in the region. Dr. Fahad Al-Wardan, the ministry’s Nursery Department Director stated that the government moves aimed at encouraging the disabled to exert more efforts in developing themselves educationally and morally. He said that this was also the aim of the movement for the general public; to have them well informed about the current issue of physical, mental, and psychological disabilities and in the process gets them to be involved in the government project. Dr. Al-Wardan discussed several findings with respect to research on disabled individuals, citing that both literature and actual research suggest that such individuals still have considerable potential to serve society.
Dr Al-wardan also made references to the existing government efforts on improving disabled individuals’ lives prior to the government announcement, stating that it was a fulfilling activity both for the recipients and the volunteers. He expressed satisfaction in the current progress of the movement in the country, and anticipation at the recently announced project of the Kuwait Parliament to give emphasis of disabled individuals’ well-being.
Dr. Al-Wardan hoped that included in the parliament’s proposed plan was to increase the pay scale for social workers who are currently one of the lowest paid sectors in society. He emphasized on the role of social workers in providing guidance and assistance to the disabled. He also gave due credence to the major role that donations from private organizations have made to the overall effort of helping disabled individuals.
The five articles are linked together with respect to their relationship to upholding human rights. In the first article, the dangers to individuals by the recklessness of certain groups in society were discussed as a violation of the tenets of article 3 in the declaration of human rights.
The second article provides a possible response of government, the main protector of the human rights of a particular citizenry, to uphold such rights of a disenfranchised group in society identified as the disabled individuals. This was strengthened by the 3rd article which gave in extensive detail the proposed government plan to alleviating the plights of disabled individuals. The fourth article saw a similar plight related to the article 3 of human rights. This was the right to security that both doctors and patients in the hospital in question required. The government acted on that right by helping the hospital set up security measures to prevent future incidents from occurring. Finally, the last article reaffirmed the human rights of disabled individuals in the perspective of current actors in the movement.
In conclusion, it can be said that although the prevalence of human rights violations can still be seen in the area of Kuwait, government is doing what it can to solve the issue. Government should always work hand in hand with the private sector, concerned individuals and volunteers, and disenfranchised groups themselves in order to detect societal problems involving violations in human rights and provide for the appropriate means for these problems’ eventual alleviation.