Disability Rights Bill passed in Nepal

On 6th Aug. 2017the legislative-parliament of Nepal has passed the Disability Rights Bill, after several hurdles and challenges. This act has been formulated in the leadership of the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare and in close cooperation with the Disabled Peoples’ Organisations including the umbrella organization, through a long process of consultations with Disability partner Organisations (DPOs), disability related services providers, other disability rights organizations and relevant government agencies. The act is an important milestone for the implementation of UNCRPD and disability related constitutional provisions to improve the life of Nepalese persons with disabilities. When effectively implemented, the Act is expected to improve access of persons with disabilities to basic services and facilities, human rights, opportunities including health, education and employment, rehabilitation, accessibility, justice on an equal basis to that of other persons. To oversee the provision, promotion and utilisation of rights by the persons with disabilities, this act has provisioned a National Disability Direction Committee at the Central level that is inclusive of all disability categories while there is also provision of establishing a Disability Coordination Committee for the same in each municipality/rural municipality. This act has also helped to broaden and nuance the definition of metal disabilities.

With this act being effective, the disability movement is now moving into a new era in Nepal. It is worthwhile mentioning here that MyRight in Nepal and its partners in collaboration with the Government of Nepal and in consultation with the MyRight Sweden Officials and its Member Organisations triggered the process in late 2011. With their full involvement and contribution to organise consultations, both at the grass root level and national level alongside of organising regular advocacy and lobby with the authorities and parliamentarians this work yielded results. The final draft was tabled in the parliament in early 2014. During the following years the bill faced several turmoil and barrier posed by the unstable political situation, devastating earthquake and to some extent the conflict within the DPOs themselves. However, the strong unification among and leadership amongst the DPOs led to bring this act to a successful outcome.