Voice of the people

A group of 200 people living with disabilities (PLDs) from 40 districts discussed the issues related to disabilities during a two-day workshop (March 28 and 29) organised by Nepal Disabled Human Rights Centre. The participants came up with a 13-point declaration stressing the need to address the issues being raised by the differently abled. This includes the formation of a separate constitutional commission and incorporation of the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Optional Protocol in the new constitution to be framed following the election to the Constituent Assembly.

In addition, the PLDs have also demanded that they be guaranteed the right to education, health and employment, as any other bonafide citizen, that the state is expected to guarantee to every citizen irrespective of race, sex, caste or ideological creed. Though the previous constitution apparently made no discrimination on any grounds and guaranteed the basic fundamental rights of every citizen, lack of specific legal safeguards and non-implementation of the existing provisions made the constitutional guarantees mostly confined to

paper. In order to be truly inclusive and democratic, the new constitution should have the necessary provisions that would protect and promote the rights of all. This was the very desire which was expressed through the April Movement.