India must ratify United Nations Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
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Dear President, Prime Minister
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in December 2006 is a landmark treaty by the United Nations and the global communities to include the disabled as an integral part of societies. Many nations have joined the treaty and India has ratified the UNCRPD(UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities) on October 1, 2007. According to the latest statistics, there are approximately 1 in 10 or 700 million people with disabilities in the world. Ratification of the treaty is critical and urgent for continuing progress on civil rights, human rights, dignity, and well being in this nation as well as for bolstering global efforts. To strengthen this treaty, an Optional Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Protocol was introduced by UN to establish grievance, corrective and enforcement mechanism.
According to Disability News & Information Centre website www.dnis.org’s News
Volume 6 Issue 8 - October 01, 2009
“India ratifies U.N.C.R.P.D. and then forgets!
D.N.I.S. News Network, India: On October 1, 2007, India ratified the United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (U.N.C.R.P.D.), much before any other significant country in the world. However, two years down the line, its implementation is close to zero! U.N.C.R.P.D. in India has just been rendered to a paper that the President of India had put her signature on.
The Convention was seen as a significant step in the paradigm shift in India from charity and welfare to rights and empowerment of people with disabilities. But all that it has witnessed in the last two years is government’s apathy. It is a sad fact that most State departments and officials are not even aware of the existence of this international law.
Moreover, there is no clarity on government’s stand vis - a - vis the implementation of the Convention. Disabled rights activists have long been demanding the setting up of a focal point for its implementation in the Prime Minister’s Office but to no avail.
The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (C.R.P.D.) was formed to monitor the implementation of U.N.C.R.P.D. It consists of 12 members, one each from Qatar, Jordan, Tunisia, Bangladesh, Chile, Hungary, Kenya, Australia, Spain, Ecuador, Slovenia and China. Though India was the 7th and the first prominent country to have ratified the Convention, it does not even have a representation on the Committee.
Onus now also lies on the Indian disability sector to raise the tempo for the implementation of the Convention in both letter and spirit.”
There are many sources that could cause disabilities or handicapped such as wars, pollution, toxics, malnutrition, diseases, abuses, and violence besides biological and genetic. Also, society as a whole, benefit greatly from the disabled directly or indirectly through such as sciences, technologies, economic or financial opportunities, arts, literature, philosophy, altruism, witness sufferings, purposes of life, and inspirations. Therefore, protection of persons with disabilities as a whole, is a social and humanity issues, and thus, must be solved collectively. In addition, ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities India would strengthen and advance the purpose intended to be served by the Constitution of India interalia under Article 51(c), Indian leadership, this nation’s values, the common good, and humanity goodness and virtues. By joining and being active in the treaty, India would participate in and promote a stronger and more robust dialogue, alliance, and program between governments, civil society and human rights experts on potentially the most effective means to achieve the well being for disabled persons.
This nation has made positive and constructive efforts in providing care and support for disabled persons and advancing their rights not only nationally but also globally. However, much more need to be done to make societies a better place for all. And as a member of the UN Security Council and UN Human Rights Council, India must do all it can to protect, defend, and advance the UN as well as this nation’s ideals, principles, values, common good, directive principles of State policy and mission. We hereby, strongly urge and encourage the Indian Government to enact legislation to implement and enforce UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and ratify UN Optional Protocol on Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to strengthen and advance the greater and common good and the essence of humanity.
We thank you, for your caring, support, empathy, efforts, and leadership on advancing the common good and well being of the global community in anticipation.
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