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The Word ‘Imbecile’ Omitted from Icelandic Law

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The Word ‘Imbecile’ Omitted from Icelandic Law

Alþingi parliament

Inside Alþingi, the Icelandic parliament. Photo: Páll Kjartansson.

The word fáviti (‘imbecile’) will be omitted from the 222nd article of the general Icelandic penal code if a new bill, currently being drafted, is passed in parliament. Instead “individuals with developmental disability” will be referred to.

The article currently states: “Anyone who on purpose or by recklessness hands a dangerous object or chemical to a child younger than 15, mentally ill person or an imbecile shall be fined or imprisoned …,” ruv.is reports.

There are also many references to fatlaður (‘handicapped’) and daufblindur (‘deaf and blind’) individuals in Icelandic law, which will be changed to “individual with disabilities” and “individual with combined vision and hearing impairment.”

The bill is part of Iceland’s obligation to fulfill the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, as stated on the website of the Ministry of the Interior. The content of the law is not being changed, only the terms used, the ministry stresses.

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