Thursday, March 18, 2010

A focal point in the PMO can facilitate early implementation of UNCRPD

Dear friends,

The demand and mandate for creating focal points for monitoring of implementation of Disabilities Act & UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with disabilities in India is growing bigger & louder. The activists are demanding two or more focal points within in the Government and outside the Government.

One such focal point can be a National Advisor to the Prime Minister within the PMO. Article 33 of UNCRPD mandates that the  States Parties shall, in accordance with their legal and administrative systems, maintain, strengthen, designate or establish within the State Party, a framework, including one or more independent mechanisms, as appropriate, to promote, protect and monitor implementation of the present Convention (read UN CRPD).

The UNCRPD also mandates that the Civil society, in particular persons with disabilities and their representative organizations, should be involved and should participate fully in the monitoring process.

The existing Central Coordination Committee (CCC) (proposed to be renamed as Central Advisory Committee in the amendments suggested by MSJ&E in the PWD Act 1995) should remain the second focal point to facilitate implementation of the convention and disablity related laws, rules and regulation in the country.  However, this body needs to be strengthened and made accountable to people. This would be possible by prominent involvement of civil society and persons with disability in general on such bodies.

The statement of former CJ of Delhi High Court is very relevant and echoes the sentiments of the disability sector. The disability sector has been a witness to myriad of problems of in-coordination among various ministries on the issues related to disabilities which has resulted in growing discomfort in the citizens with disability in India.

SC Vashishth, Advocate

To read the news from source, click on the news title here: 'We need a national advisor to PM on disability'

In order to ensure the rights of people with disabilities, there is a need for a national advisor on the subject to the prime minister, former chief justice of the Delhi High Court Ajit Prakash Shah said Thursday.

'There is a need for a national advisor on disability to the prime minister, as it will help in bridging the gap between policies and ground realities,' Shah said at the inauguration of a two-day meet on the disability sector in the capital.

'This step will also help India fully implement the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (CRPD) of which it is a signatory,' he added.

The CRPD requires its signatories to promote, protect, and ensure the full enjoyment of human rights by people with disabilities and ensure that they enjoy full equality under the law.

According to government estimates, there are approximately 20-30 million disabled people in India. However, NGOs estimate the numbers are around 60-70 million.

In contrast to the population, NGOs like the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP) say that only a handful of them are educated and employed.

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