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Disability sector submits Stakeholder’s Report for India’s U.P.R.

D.N.I.S. News Network, India: In the run up to the second Universal Periodic Review (U.P.R.) of India due in May 2012, the disability sector, for the first time, has submitted its own Stakeholders Report to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (O.H.C.H.R.). This Report has been prepared by the National Disability Network (N.D.N). Twenty two organisations from across the country participated in the preparation of the Report.

Some of the highlights of the Report are with regard to full and effective participation of disabled peoples organisations (D.P.O.s) and persons with disabilities in decision and policy making, implementation and monitoring of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (C.R.P.D.); ensuring that existing human rights mechanisms are inclusive of persons with disabilities; amending of domestic laws to bring them in line with the C.R.P.D. and designating a Focal Point for monitoring the Convention. Ensuring accessibility, inclusive education and recognition of Sign Language as an official language and including it in Schedule 8 of the Constitution are points that have been discussed at length.

The Report also made a strong case for ensuring legal capacity to all persons with disabilities, pointing out that at present over a hundred civil laws in the country, including the Constitution, deprive persons of unsound mind of their civil and political rights. It has been recommended that all such discriminatory legal provisions be abolished.