Madrid, January 17, 2024
In a historic move towards recognizing and expanding the rights of individuals with disabilities, the Spanish government led by Minister of the Presidency, Justice, and Relations with the Courts, Félix Bolaños, highlighted the significance of amending Article 49 of the Constitution. This marks the first social content amendment since the Constitution came into effect, aiming to eliminate the term “disabled.”
Minister Bolaños addressed the Members of the Spanish Parliament during the consideration of the Reform proposal of Article 49 of the Spanish Constitution, emphasizing the importance of upholding dignity and extending the rights of people with disabilities. He asserted that the amendment goes beyond mere words, stating, “Words are never just words; they have the ability to shape our thoughts, serving as a vehicle through which we express our worldview and ultimately shape reality.”
This reform, the third since the Constitution’s inception but the first with a social focus, underscores the need to adapt the text to the reality faced by people with disabilities and align with international terminology. Minister Bolaños commended the government’s progress, having presented the constitutional reform project in May 2021, and acknowledged the contributions of organizations representing individuals with disabilities, particularly thanking CERMI for its dedicated work over the years.
Furthermore, he reminded public representatives and administrations of their obligation to ensure equal rights for people with disabilities. The revised text of Article 49, by removing the term “disabled” and reinforcing the rights of individuals with disabilities, is seen as responding to a public demand and enriching Spanish democracy. Minister Bolaños concluded by urging all parliamentary groups to unanimously support the proposition, emphasizing its positive impact on the nation’s democratic principles.