Thursday September 28, 2023

Rights of PWDs Act 2020 lauded

February 26, 2020

Islamabad : The National Assembly of Pakistan passes ‘The ICT Rights of Persons with Disability Act 2020.’ Minister of Human Rights, Dr. Shireen Mazari, submitted the bill on 10 January 2020 to national assembly of Pakistan, says a press release.

Community Based Inclusive Development Network (CBIDN), on behalf of its member organisations and disabled community, expresses its gratitude to the Ministry of Human Rights and the honorable minister for taking lead on formulation and submission of The Disability Bill for approval. CBIDN-Pakistan acknowledges the support provided by the secretariat of legislative parliament and standing committee on human rights for taking ‘The ICT Rights of Persons with Disability Bill’ through the parliamentary process.

The Act formulated under the leadership of the Ministry of Human Rights in close consultation with the CBIDN-Pakistan, parliamentarians, Disabled Persons Organisations (DPOs), disability related services providers, disability rights organizations and relevant government agencies. It has been highly demanded by persons with disabilities since long.

The Act is a remarkable achievement and is ever first of its kind in Islamabad Capital Territory that is developed in line with United Nation Conventions on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). It will replace the Disabled Protection and Welfare act 1981 while contributing to the implementation of UNCRPD, SDGs and disability related constitutional provisions to uplift the lives of persons with disabilities in Pakistan. It will increase the access of persons with disabilities to basic services such as; health, education, employment, transportation, and communication while prohibiting discrimination based on disability.

While addressing the press conference from the platform of CBID Network by Asim Zafar, Syed Sardar Ahmed Pirzada , Nasir Dar, Miss Saima, Haider Imtiaz, Dr Sarwat and Munazza Gilani said “CBIDN-Pakistan appreciates this new law. However, we also urge for enforcement of this law in letter and spirit.”

“Inclusion of disabled persons has been suggested for the Constitution of the Disability Council. We strongly recommend that these three should represent all three major disabilities, i.e., blindness, physically challenged and deaf and mute, each representative having good repute of work in the relevant field.

Another seat should be added in the said council to the above three seats, which should be for mentally challenged persons. It is necessary to propose that renowned teachers or training experts of mentally challenged persons should be nominated to represent them in the council.”

CBIDN also recommends formation of rules of business and is keen to provide technical support to the ministry of human rights in this regard. We assure our full support to the ministry for successful implementation of the law.

We highly acknowledge the continuous support of CBIDN-Pakistan’s members including Sightsavers, CBM, HANDS and STEP and other DPOs during the process of consultations with stakeholders. Our special thanks go to parliamentarians, political parties, organisations working on disability rights, all civil society organizations and media for their support, effort and contribution to build strong solidarity and power for the advocacy in the favor of this act.

We expect the same energy, support, solidarity and contributions from all of you in future for effective implementation of this law.