Rights Groups submitted report to UN
Bhubaneswar,09/04/19:Rights Groups alleged that despite the enactment of Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016 in India, which provides for a barrier-free environment, persons with disabilities belonging to religious and ethnic minorities in India continue to face disproportionate levels of poverty, lack of access to education, employment, harassment in public places, in travelling and barriers in political participation.
A report prepared by Centre for Sustainable Use of Natural and Social Resources (CSNR), Bhubaneswar and Minority Rights Group International (MRG) is being reflected by the unequal access to Government schemes and programs for PWD in this section. Basing on the findings of the report, rights groups and human rights defenders have urged UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) for consideration of these and other issues related to this category at its 11th pre-session on 11th April 2019 .
The reports says, “Women with disabilities from marginalised religious and ethnic minorities who are victims of sexual violence face significant challenges at each stage of the process of accessing justice, including barriers to registering complaints, delayed investigations and failure to arrest the accused.”
The Report observed that religious minorities especially the Muslims in India have been increasingly socially and economically marginalised on the whole. For instance India’s revised Haj policy 2018-2022 announced in December 2017 retained the clause barring persons with disabilities from undertaking Haj pilgrimage using language offensive and derogatory in nature by calling persons with disabilities as “crippled” and “lunatic.”
The report contains recommendations which show that despite the progress made in reforming disability legislations in India in recent years, immediate priority needs to be given to the recommendations such as a centralised and detailed database for all Indian States pertaining to persons with disabilities belonging to dalits, adivasis and minority communities and establishment of an autonomous body for implementing and monitoring the CRPD and the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPWD) Act, 2016 to achieve better outcomes in the areas of education, employment and independent living opportunities for people with disabilities.
The activists groups also demands to formulate explicit provisions for access to health services for people with disabilities from weaker and minority sections in all flagship programmes like National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), National Urban Health Mission (NUHM) etc.
“The government should spread awareness amongst people with disabilities, their families, medical professionals, and so on regarding the right to integrity of people with disabilities as a human rights issue and how their status as a person with disability belonging to a minority or indigenous communities compound their experience of discrimination”, the report said.
Press Release by;Akhand