Presentation on theme: "1 Disability Law in Asia and the Pacific: Challenges in ensuring non-discrimination for persons with disabilities. Aiko Akiyama Social Afffairs Office."— Presentation transcript:
1 Disability Law in Asia and the Pacific: Challenges in ensuring non-discrimination for persons with disabilities. Aiko Akiyama Social Afffairs Office Social Development Division ESCAP
Purpose of the presentation To provide and discuss assessment of the existing disability laws in the region from the perspective of ensuring non- discrimination for persons with disabilities. To share some thoughts on the proposal of the DRTAP.
Research base Disability at a glance 2009:A profile of 36 Countries and Areas in Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP 2009) Disability Policy Central (http://www.unescap.org/esid/psis/disability/policy_centr al/index.asp)http://www.unescap.org/esid/psis/disability/policy_centr al/index.asp Experts paper on the harmonization of the national legislation with the CRPD (Bangladesh, Republic of Korea, Laos, Vanuatu)
Challenges in the disability law in Asia and the Pacific from the perspective of ensuring non- discrimination for persons with disabilities More than a few Government has insufficient legal ground for non- discrimination. The region has variance in definitions on disability and persons with disabilities. Few Governments have clearly operational definitions on discrimination. Many Governments laws are inconsistent with the CRPD requirements.
More than a few Government has insufficient legal ground for non-discrimination. No comprehensive disability law that states non-discrimination principle in countries in the region. Laos: Decree was drafted, but the law was not adopted yet. Vanuatu: National Disability Policy and Plan of Action 2008-2015 is in line with the CRPD. But there is no law. Few Governments have anti-discrimination law on disability Seven Governments ( Australia, Azerbaijian, Hong Kong China, India, Japan, Philippines and Republic of Korea) reported that they have anti-discrimination law.
The region has variance in definitions on disability and persons with disabilities. 31 (out of 36 Governments surveyed by ESCAP) has definition of disability. Several Governments associates disability as abnormality. Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, China At least 9 Governments define disability as attributed to one’s impairment. Bangladesh, Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia, Japan, Kiribati, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Mongolia, New Zealand, Pakistan and Viet Nam A few Governments define disability from the social model perspective. Malaysia, Thailand
The region has variance in definitions on disability and persons with disabilities. Coverage is not consistent throughout the region. For example, persons with autism is not included in Bangladesh. Interpretation of “mental disabilities” is not clear whether to mean persons with developmental disabilities or persons with psycho-social disabilities. oFor example, Mongolia “mental problems.” oAzerbaijan, “Mental abnormalities.”
Few Governments have clearly operational definitions on discrimination. Definition of discrimination is not clear and not consistent in the region. Fiji Constitution prohibits discrimination on the ground of disability. But no subordinate laws to define discrimination. Philippines: disability comprehensive law, prohibiting discrimination against persons with disabilities. But no definition on discrimination. Turkmenistan: comprehensive law “On Social Welfare” prohibits discrimination on the ground of disability,” but no definition of discrimination is provided. Australia: anti-discrimination law includes operational definitions of discrimination and that includes both direct/indirect discrimination, discrimination for the lack of provision of reasonable accommodation.
Many Governments laws are inconsistent with the CRPD requirements. Clear conflicts with the message of the CRPD Korean Broadcasting law- sign language interpretation is not mandatory CRPD article on accessibility, sign language as a means of communication. Korean Basic Code of Healthy Families priority for institutionalization of persons with disabilities CRPD article on living independently and being included in community. Korean Single Parent Families Support Act exemption provision states that persons with disabilities cannot adopt a child. CRPD article on familiy life (Note: In the light of the Korean anti-discrimination law on disability, they are planning reviewing the existing laws……)
Many Governments laws are inconsistent with the CRPD requirements. Interpretation of laws and regulations that, in effect, sustains a vicious cycle of exclusion and poverty. Laos: “good health requirement” in a lot of classified ads, in effect, promotes discrimination against persons with disabilities. Bangladesh: quota system exists for persons with disabilities (10 per cent). But a candidate has to be “medically fit.”
Conclusion and few thoughts on the regional disability tribunal Weak legal ground to ensure the rights realization of persons with disabilities in Asia and the Pacific as many of the laws clearly do not sanction discriminations against persons with disabilities. Disability Regional Tribunal can showcase the region what it means by disability-based discrimination and ultimately contribute to the upgrading of the national legislation. DRTAP might be able to overcome the report fatigue syndrome of the present treaty committee.
Conclusion and few thoughts on the regional disability tribunal Strategic issues for the establishment of the official tribunal Tran-boundary issues can united Governments. Subregional approach
Thank you!! Let’s do the “right” thing for the rights of persons with disabilities.