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Article Bolivia: New Law on the Disabled

(Mar. 8, 2012) On March 2, 2012, President Evo Morales of Bolivia promulgated the General Law on the Disabled, Law No. 223, aimed at improving the quality of life of disabled persons, promoting their employment, and creating rehabilitation programs and an annual subsidy for the disabled. (Presidente Morales promulga la Ley 223 para Personas con Discapacidad, Bolivian President's website (Mar. 2, 2012).)

The amount of the annual subsidy will be announced each year through a regulatory decree. The 2012 subsidy is set at 1,000 bolivianos (about US$144). (Decreto Supremo 1133 (Feb. 8, 2012), GACETA OFICIAL DEL ESTADO PLURINACIONAL DE BOLIVIA [scroll down page to view].) Blind or disabled persons who work in the public sector do not qualify to receive the subsidy. (Law No. 223, art. 28.II.)

Disabled activists are holding protests against the government because they consider the subsidy amount for 2012 to be too small. They also claim the right to participate in the discussions related to the drafting of the regulation for the Law. (Morales Promulga Ley a favor de Discapacitados en Bolivia, EL UNIVERSO (Mar. 2, 2012); Pavel Alarcón, Los Discapacitados Aceptan la Nueva Ley, LA PRENSA (Mar. 3, 2012).)

The Law promotes the inclusion and equal treatment of and lack of discrimination against the disabled. (Law 223, art. 4.) It also guarantees the rights to have a family; to work; to health care; to special accommodations for accessibility; to education, and to political participation, among other rights. (Law 223, arts. 8-18.)

The Law also provides for import tax exemptions for prosthesis and any other support equipment for the disabled, excluding automobiles. (Law 223, art. 33.) The disabled are also exempted from payment of fees to obtain official documents and identification cards. (Law 223, arts. 40-41.)

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Rodriguez-Ferrand, Graciela. Bolivia: New Law on the Disabled. 2012. Web Page.

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Rodriguez-Ferrand, Graciela. Bolivia: New Law on the Disabled. 2012. Web Page. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.