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Title: The rights of disabled persons and discrimination : a comparative study in British, American and Saudi Arabian disability law
Author: Alsaif, Ahmad S.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3418 4168
Awarding Body: Newcastle University
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2009
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In Saudi Arabia, as in other Arabic countries, disabled people are prevented by exclusion and marginalisation from obtaining their clear rights. In advanced countries, principles of equality and human dignity determine the position whereby disabled rights are a matter for procedures of justice, not merely for charity. Therefore in the West effective antidiscrimination legislation operates to protect the disabled. By reference to Western concepts and practice, this thesis attempts to propose appropriate means according to Islamic principles to establish the rights of disabled persons and to rectify problems of discrimination against them in Saudi Arabia. The concept of disability is here understood broadly, in order to include a social model that takes account of the stigma of impairment attached to disabled persons, and the social restrictions this entails. The rights of disabled persons rest on principles of their fundamental interests and real needs, equal respect, self-esteem, autonomy and citizenship. To establish the case for these rights is to establish a case resting on dignity, equality and recognition which prohibits discrimination against the disabled. Discrimination refers to exclusion, all forms of denial of opportunities, harm, such as losing out on benefits, and distributive injustice. Distributive justice is required in order to address disability-based discrimination. Its principles of egalitarianism, resources, deserts and difference offer practical solutions to problems of discrimination. The 'difference principle', resources and other principles here are linked to 'reparative justice', for example, through the application of reasonable adjustment to enable disabled persons to enjoy their rights. The concept of the 'veil of ignorance' is applied to the position of disabled persons as a disadvantaged group, to discover what real concept of justice - according to their circumstances and needs - must be adhered to. The UN's 2007 convention on the rights of disabled persons reflects these issues in terms of human rights, and offers a reform agenda for international consensus. It also stresses raising awareness of the clear rights of the disabled without discrimination. Examination of the situation regarding disability in Saudi Arabia reveals a range of inadequacies both in services provided and in legal response. The British and American disability acts offer norms and models informed by justice as a blueprint for reform. When disabled Saudis become legal and autonomous rights-holders, the goal of this thesis will have been achieved.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Saudi Higher Education Ministry
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available