Assistant Professor at Karnataka State Law University, India
Till very recently the persons with disabilities were largely excluded from the purview of anti-discrimination and human rights laws. The legal recognition for them was confined to the spheres of welfare and charity law. Though this was only a partial recognition which undermined them as equal citizens at par with their able-bodied counterparts, the situation underwent a radical change, especially in the aftermath of global disability rights movement since the 1970s. This movement culminated in the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability and also it’s Optional Protocol on 2006 (UNCRPD). Despite the fact that they are positive steps-forward, there were still huge problems underlying these rights of persons with disabilities. Although, the existing human rights laws seem to provide equal rights for the disabled, in reality these instruments have failed to protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms guaranteed to disabled people. In the national scenario in spite of four major legislation relating to disability and the comprehensive disability legislation of the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation Act, 1995(PWD Act), the lacuna and defects in the legislation was realised very late which ultimately resulted in the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 (RPWD). In spite of all these developments in the disability legislation the human rights violations against these persons are still prevalent and in fact more rampant in the midst of COVID pandemic. Their condition was likely to be worsened if the government proceeded with the amendment to the RPWD Act, 2016, to decriminalize “minor offences for improving business sentiment and unclogging court processes.” All these call for a need to look into the evolution of the law, its development both in the international and national scenario and the recent move of the government to amend the legislation opening up once again the imminent question as to whether the rights of the persons with disabilities are truly protected.
International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 5, Issue 4, Page 1339 - 1348DOI: https://doij.org/10.10000/IJLMH.113475
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