Why in News?

The United Nations has released the first ever guidelines on the access of social justice for Person with Disabilities (PwD) so as to make it easier for them to access the justice system around the world.

Key Points

The United Nations has outlined a set of ten principles for the implementation of its first ever guidelines on access to social justice for people with disabilities.

The principles are as follows:

  1. Principle 1: PwD shall not be denied access to justice.
  2. Principle 2: Facilities and Services cant be denied universally and should be accessible to PwD universally to ensure equal access to justice.
  3. Principle 3: PwD including the children with disabilities have the right to appropriate procedural accommodations.
  4. Principle 4: They have the right to access to legal notice and information in a timely and accessible manner.
  5. Principle 5: People with Disabilities are entitled to all substantive and procedural safeguards recognized in international law on an equal basis with others, and the states must provide the necessary accommodations to guarantee due process.
  6. Principle 6: Persons with disabilities have the right to free or affordable legal assistance.
  7. Principle 7: They have the right to participate in the administration of justice on equal basis with others.
  8. Principle 8: PwD have the right to report and initiate legal proceedings concerning human rights violations as well as crimes.
  9. Principle 9: There has to be a robust monitoring mechanism to support access to justice for people with disabilities.
  10. Principle 10: People working within the judicial system must be made aware and trained for addressing the rights of PwD.

Person with Disability (PwD)

  • The UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities defines PwD as those “who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others”.
  • The Convention on Rights of PwD was adopted in 2006.
  • India gave the formal consent to the Convention in 2007. The parliament enacted the Rights of Person with Disabilities Act in 2016 as well.

What does discrimination on the basis of disability mean?

According to the United Nations, “Discrimination on the basis of disability’ means any distinction, exclusion or restriction on the basis of disability which has the purpose or effect of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal basis with others, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field. It includes all forms of discrimination, including denial of reasonable accommodation”.

How many people are disabled in India?

  • As per the stats of the UN, 4% of males and 2% of females are of all age groups are disabled in India.
  • These disabilities include psychological impairment, intellectual impairment, hearing, speaking, etc.

India efforts for Person with Disability

Constitutional Provisions

  • Article 41 of the Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP) provided in the Indian Constitution states that the State shall make effective provision for securing the right to work, to education, and public assistance in cases of unemployment, old age, sickness, and disablement, within the limits of its economic capacity and development.
  • The subject of ‘relief of the disabled and unemployable’ is specified in the state list of the Seventh Schedule of the constitution.

Right of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016

  • It replaces the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995.
  • The types of disabilities have been increased from 7 to 21.
  • It increases the quantum of reservation for people suffering from disabilities from 3% to 4%in government jobs and from 3% to 5% in higher education institutes.
  • Every child with a benchmark disability between the age group of 6 and 18 years shall have the right to free education.

Accessible India Campaign (Creation of Accessible Environment for PwDs)

  • A nation-wide flagship campaign for achieving universal accessibility that will enable persons with disabilities to gain access for equal opportunity and live independently and participate fully in all aspects of life in an inclusive society.
  • The campaign targets at enhancing the accessibility of the built environment, transport system and Information & communication ecosystem.

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