KATHMANDU, DECEMBER 22
Law experts have pointed out that 59 of the 345 existing laws are discriminatory towards people with psychosocial disabilities.
Speakers at a programme organised by KOSHISH National Mental Health Self-Help Organization said people with psychosocial disabilities were suffering extra pain due to the discriminatory laws and the social situation.
The programme also screened a documentary, prepared by the organisation, on the problems people with psychosocial disabilities faced.
President of the Federal Parliament's Law, Justice and Human Rights Committee, Krishna Bhakta Pokharel said anyone could suffer from the problem of psychosocial disability and that discrimination against people with this problem is a crime against humanity.
He made it clear that the laws made after the promulgation of the Constitution of Nepal, 2015 are not discriminatory against people with psychosocial disabilities and pledged to direct the government immediately to amend the existing discriminatory laws.
President of parliamentary committee on monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the State directive principles, policies and obligations, Niradevi Jairu said the committee showed commitment to amend the discriminatory laws.
President of the parliamentary committee on national concern and coordination, Dil Kumari Rawal Thapa described the discrimination against the people with psychosocial disabilities as a sensitive issue that is of everyone's concern, pledging that the committee would pay attention to this aspect while making laws in the coming days.
Senior advocate Dr Chandrakanta Gyawali made a presentation on constitutional provisions related to citizen's rights, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities and the discriminatory provisions in the national laws.
According to Dr Gyawali, out of the existing 345 Acts and 288 Regulations, 69 Acts and 12 Regulations have provisions discriminatory to the people with psychosocial disabilities, which are preventing people with this type of disability from enjoying various rights and facilities.
Moreover, this has also led to the violation of the civil, economic and political rights, along with the use of derogatory words and phrases.
The organisation had filed a case at the Supreme Court recently seeking annulment of the discriminatory provisions and derogatory terms as well as upholding the voting rights of the people with psychosocial disabilities.
Executive Director of KOSHISH, Matrika Prasad Devkota lamented that the society still is not receptive to the people with psychosocial disabilities and the discrimination they face at the hand of society remained as a deep scar throughout their life.
He added that society's this attitude towards the people with psychosocial disabilities has led to increase in suicides by such people.