A milestone for the rights of people with disabilities in Nepal

The long-awaited bill on the rights of people with disabilities has been adopted in Nepal after many years of advocacy work by the Nepalese disability movement and MyRigh's partner organizations in the country.

The Ministry of Justice of Nepal has now adopted the bill on the rights of people with disabilities.

- When this future law comes into force, the disability movement in Nepal will usher in a new era. says Shiva Rayamajhi. Country Coordinator at MyRight's office in Kathmandu, Nepal.

The bill that has now been adopted is an important milestone for the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and disability-related constitutional provisions to improve the lives of people with disabilities in the country. Once the law enters into force and is implemented, it is expected to lead to improvements for people with disabilities regarding access to basic human rights, services and areas, such as access to inclusive health, education and employment, rehabilitation and increased accessibility and equality in general. On 6 August 2017, the bill was adopted, which has been formulated under the leadership of the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare and has taken place in close collaboration with the disability movement in the country. This has been done through a long process of consultation with various private, state and non-profit actors who are active in disability issues in Nepal, including MyRight's partner organizations in the country.

A national committee has also been created for disability issues at the central level, which includes all disabilities, at the same time as it is also prescribed to establish a coordination committee for coordination for the same in each municipality / rural municipality. The bill also broadens and nuances the definition of mental disabilities in Nepal.

Process with the bill began as early as the end of 2011. Within the Nepalese disability movement, the work has helped to organize cooperation, both at the grassroots and national level, which has resulted in persistent advocacy and lobbying with authorities and parliamentarians. The final draft of the bill was submitted to the Riksdag in early 2014. In the following years, the bill has faced several obstacles in the form of an unstable political situation, a devastating earthquake and to some extent internal strife within the disability movement in Nepal.

- However, a growing unity and a common leadership within the movement has been a major contributing factor to the bill that we now see has been adopted, says Shiva Rayamajhi.

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