The Core Value of human rights mission underpins a system of basic freedoms that affords protection against the abuse of power and creates space for the development of the human spirit. Four Values- Dignity, Autonomy, Equality and Solidarity are of particular importance, both in general terms and in the context of Disability. Over 600 million people or approximately 10℅ of the world’s population have disabilities of one or other form. Over the last 2 decades, a drastic shift took place from an approach motivated by charity towards the disabled to one based on rights. The human rights perspective on disability means viewing people with disability as a subject and not as an object. It involves moving away from viewing people with disability as a problem towards viewing them as holders of rights. People with disabilities must be afforded freedom but also the means to take advantage of it. This can be done by providing relevant social support and in particular by respecting economics, social and cultural rights. The main human rights challenge is accommodating the difference of disability and making people with a disability visible within the system.
Protection against Exploitation and Discrimination
Disabled persons shall be protected against all exploitation, all regulations and all treatment of a discriminatory, abusive or degrading nature.
Disabled persons shall be able to avail themselves of qualified legal aid that proves indispensable for the protection of their person and property.
If judicial proceedings are instituted against them, the legal procedure applied shall take their physical and mental condition into account.
Disabled persons, their families and communities shall be fully informed, by all appropriate means, of the rights contained in this Declaration.
Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995
Of late, the Government of India has enacted a comprehensive piece of legislation namely. “the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995” to enforce the human rights of the disabled in pursuance of the UN Declaration. This law is an important landmark and will ensure equal opportunities for persons with disabilities and their full participation in the nation-building. The Act provides for both preventive and promotional aspects of rehabilitation like education, employment and vocational training, reservation, research-creation of barrier-free environment, rehabilitation for persons with a disability, unemployment allowance for the disabled, special insurance scheme for the employees and establishment of homes for persons with severe disability, etc. The Act has been enforced w.e.f. 07.02. 1996. All the state governments have been requested to take necessary steps for speedy implementation of the provisions of the Act.
National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation
The Government has also set up a National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation with an authorised share capital of Rs. 400 crores and paid-up share capital of Rs. 200 crores to make persons with disabilities productive and bring them into the mainstream of economic activity.
National Human Rights Commission
India being the signatories to the Human Rights Charter of the United Nations, constituted a high powered Commission namely, National Human Rights Commission to protect not only human rights of citizens but also of all categories of disabled persons. The Commission also deals with the violation of human rights as well as protection against exploitation, discrimination etc.
In the absence of a proper forum to take up the cases on behalf of disabled persons before the National Human Rights Commission, the disabled have not so far taken any advantage from the Commission. Hence there is an urgent need that some organized groups of people should come forward to help the disabled in taking up their cases pertaining to violation of rights and exploitation and discrimination against them.
The following measures for creating awareness and removing ignorance are suggested:
(a) It is desirable that students from primary level should be introduced with the subject of the disability to enable them to develop better understanding towards the disablement over a period of time. Obviously, proper awareness and understanding is absolutely necessary to treat them on equal footing or at par with normal human beings and offer them the opportunities to unfold their capabilities without any exploitation and discrimination.
(b) The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment should take up the matter with the Ministry of HRD; University Grant Commission (UGC) and All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) regarding introduction of the subject on disability in all academic and professional courses in the country. This will also generate goodwill for the disablement, besides development of better understanding.
(c) The NGOs can also play a vital role in removing ignorance and creating awareness about the rights of the disabled through constant efforts and programmes.
(d) Mass media, like newspapers, radio, TV and films may also be helpful in dispelling the prejudices and discriminations against the education, placement and rehabilitation of the disabled by depicting success stories of the people with disabilities.
Hence, this laws and rights help the Special Need Population of people with intellectual disabilities to live a meaningful, satisfying & productive life in our community.
Courtesy- Green Ubuntu
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