The Rights of the Disabled

In the plethora of problems, the world and different nations are dealing with, one of the most prominent ones is the rights of disabled people. Ironically its highly unspoken of people today regarding these rights, it may be due to lack of awareness that even though disabled people have special rights they are unaware about it and are exploited out of it. It would be better if we rather call them “specially abled people” than disabled as I feel that in such people there is some other quality given to them which overpowers their disability. They should be treated unequally to that of normal healthy human beings, as there is a saying that equals should be treated equally and unequal should be treated unequally. So, how can one exactly define specially abled people it can be a person who has physical or mental impairments maybe even both and the person isn’t able to carry out day to day functions like a normal person and this affects him on a long term basis, they are said to be called specially abled or disabled people. As I have mentioned earlier that they should be treated unequally it meant that we have to give them rights so that they can be living with dignity like any other person around, and this requires the intervention of law so that these people could live a normal happy life. Persons with difficulty face barriers that restrict them from doing certain things on equal basis that is commonly done by normal people like to be employed, participate in activities, access justice, etc. It is so true that all over the world specially abled people are usually faced with gross human right violation by denying them the rights of equal participation, legal capacity, voting rights and the freedom to live free in the community. In many nations such people are often living in extreme poverty or are in the margins of getting into poverty, this usually happens to a large extent in developing nations, and in some other nations people with disability are deprived of their rights, liberties and they are usually excluded from the society. Hence , regarding the situation above that has been created there was a need for the nations to provide special provisions for the disabled people, but this was usually always initiated firstly at an international basis where there exists some sort documentary which can be a signatory and all the nations that have signed up for it usually start implementing the objectives that has to be achieved which is clearly stated in the document. We will be discussing the rights from an international and national perspective

There have been many supportive conventions and conferences internationally, which generate a link between human rights, and the rights of the disabled, which all have a common aim to make sure every person no matter how and what they are should not be deprived of any basic human rights.  The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) which has come into effect in the year 1948 has given 30 human rights which every nation has to follow. UDHR is the basis for all the other treaties, conventions and conferences, they cannot be violative of any right specified in the UDHR. Article 1 of the UDHR states that every human being shall live with dignity and rights. Article 2 mentions that every right mentioned in the UDHR shall be applicable to everyone, without any sort of discrimination. All the other rights in the article support the fact that every human being should be equal everywhere, and indirectly supports that every disabled person is no less than a normal human being, they both shall be tested in the same way. Other international conventions, treaties and conferences like the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT)1949, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) 1979, the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) 1989, and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) 1966. All the conventions have provisions which all support the fact there shall be no discrimination in the way people are treated, especially when it comes to especially abled, one should respect them. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) which is an effective measure which was taken by the United Nations Generally Assembly has been adopted in the year 2006.   The CRPD has come into force with the sole purpose to protect the rights of the specially abled people, and it has been fulfilling its purpose over the years in an efficient manner. The World Programme of Action Concerning Disabled Persons, was adopted by the General Assembly in 1982, which is a global strategy that has been initiated to equalise the opportunities of specially abled people, increase their participation towards the development of the nation, and especially to prevent cases od disability with proper health care and safety. There are many other efforts taken to improve the situation of the disable but the above were some of the major ones. 

Now lets look into the provisions for especially abled people in India. This nation has also taken a lot of efforts to improve their position in the society, they will be discussed a follows:

  • Article 14 of the Indian constitution states that every person is equal before the law, article 15 states that doscrmination shall not take place anywhere in the nation, article 17 states that no person can be treated as an untouchable, and article 21 guarantees right to life and personal liberty to all the citizens of the country. In the same manner articles 23, 24, 25, 32 talk about equality and no exploitation. These articles make sure there is no distinction between people. The specially abled people have been given special and separate provisions in family law, health law, education and were given relief in the form of income tax concessions and so on.
  • The Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 was brought into effect in the year 1996 which aimed at providing equal opportunities to specially abled people. This is a step taken by the government in correspondence to the ratification in the international treaties and conventions.  The Act provides various measures and spects in various field in order to achieve their equality in the society. 
  • Some other important acts where special provisions were provided are the Mental Health Act, 1987 for mentally ill persons, the rehabilitation Council of India Act, 1992, the national trust for welfare of persons with autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation and multiple disabilities Act, 1999.

The above provisions did bring a change in the way specially abled person was treated, they were given the motivation and were encouraged to come out and portray their self in the society by giving them as many possible opportunities.  In spite of the exiting provisions there have to be more facilities for these people in regards with transportation and they have to have special arrangements made in all the places the are a part of. One main suggestion to the whole world out there is to treat them equally, we should stop thinking about them in a wrong way, as at the end of the day we all are human beings and we should treat our fellow ones with equal respect. We have no idea which lead to their disabilities, they must’ve been struggling a lot with it, if we can’t help them, we should at least no make the situation worst by making them feel bad about themselves. How many ever provisions are brought up for them, extra special should be taken, changes have to be made according to the situation and new laws should be brought up for their welfare. Law is the only tool which can make a person act or behave in the right way and it is the best way to bring change. Not only in the books but it should practically happen in front of the eyes

Published by Teju Aleti

I am a law student at Christ (deemed to be) University lavasa, and I love to write, as I feel it is the only way I can express my vaulable opinions and thoughts. I generally like to write in the law genre.

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