Rights of Persons With Disabilities

GS GOVERNANCE- Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation:- Equality (interpersonal and inter regional) and social justice


The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities offers sufficient standards of protection for the civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights of persons with disabilities on the basis of inclusion, equality and non-discrimination.

Current Status:

  • Number of states/UTs responded-24
  • States that have not notified state rules-58%
  • State/UTs without state Advisory Boards-50%
  • States/UTs without State Commissioners for persons with disabilities-37%
  • States that have not allocated State funds-79%
  • States without notified special courts-58%
  • States without Special Pubic Prosecuters:87%

Fundamental issues for Differently Disabled:

  • over a billion people worldwide are impacted by disability.(over 80% in developing countries)
  • 5% of the world’s population has some or the other form of disability,(the largest global minority.)
  • women and girls with disabilities are at a higher risk of experiencing sexual and gender-based violence.
  • Exclusionary mindset
  • the inability to recognise the disabled as rights-bearing citizens.(Amartya Sen defined as capabilities deemed essential for human development.)
  • Continuous discrimination denies them equal access.(education, employment, healthcare and other opportunities.)
  • Entitled to demand fair and equal treatment(from every service provider-public or private.)
  • Those with mental disabilities, women with disabilities and those in rural areas are the most neglected.
  • Enormous reservoir of untapped resources excluded from the workforce.

At the time of Pandemic:

  • 73.6% of persons living with disabilities in India are outside the labour force.(International Labour Organization(ILO) Report as per 2011 census)
  • Students with disabilities-found difficult to access remote learning through digital platforms.
  • UNESCO’s 2019 State of the Education Report- states that 
    • inclusive education is complex to implement
    • requires a fine understanding of the diverse needs of children and their families.
  • In India- 
  • progress in terms of putting in place a robust legal framework
  • a range of programmes that have improved enrolment rates.

Conventions and Legislations regarding their protection:

  1. United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD):(India is a signatory.)
    • to engage member countries in developing and carrying out policies, laws and administrative measures.
    • for securing the rights recognized in the Convention.
    • abolish laws, regulations, customs and practices that constitute discrimination.
    • to identify and eliminate obstacles and barriers
    • ensure that persons with disabilities can access their environment, transportation, public facilities and services and information and communications technologies.
    • to recognize the right to an adequate standard of living and social protection
  1. public housing, services and assistance
  2. for disability-related needs
  3. assistance with disability-related expenses in case of poverty.
  4. Right of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016:
    • The Rights of Persons With Disabilities (RPWD) Act was enacted in December 2016. It promotes and protects the rights and dignity of people with disabilities in various aspects of life –
  1. Educational
  2. Social
  3. Legal
  4. Economic
  5. Cultural
  6. political. 
  1. It applies to government, non government and private organisations.
  2. Act defines PwD as any person with long-term physical, mental, intellectual, or sensory impairments which on interacting with barriers hinder effective and equal growth in the society.
  3. Accessible India Campaign:Creation of Accessible Environment for PwDs
  4. A nation-wide flagship campaign for achieving universal accessibility-
    • to gain access for equal opportunity
    • live independently
    • participate fully in all aspects of life in an inclusive society.

Way Forward

  • Preventive health programs need to be strengthened.
  • All children need to be screened at a young age.
  • Proper implementation of schemes
  • Proper monitoring mechanisms
  • Accountability of public funds.
  • Need to be better integrated into society by overcoming stigma.
  • Awareness campaigns to educate and aware people.
  • Success stories of people with disabilities can be showcased to inculcate positive attitude.
  • More budgetary allocation for welfare of the disabled.(disability budgeting on line of gender budget.)
  • to ensure quality education to achieve the targets of Agenda 2030 and the objectives of the Sustainable Development Goal 4.


       Nearly 75 years ago, the United Nations (UN) was created in the face of intolerance and discrimination to reaffirm faith in the dignity and worth of humans, and in the equal rights of women and men.      Its fundamental values postulated that in order to live sustainably, we must practise tolerance and endorse the values of equality. 

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