can be physical in nature, cognitive, behavioral, or even emotional. This
particular disabilities topic center contains mostly reference to physical and
sensory forms of disability, as other forms are adequately covered in other
topic centers. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
People with disabilities all over the world experience human rights violations,
stigma and discrimination. To have a disability means that one has fundamental
difficulty accomplishing things that others take for granted.There are many
social factors that can affect whether or not individuals with disabilities are
included or excluded from participation on various activities, which in tur can
affect development or esteem.
Disability is thus just not a health problem. It is a complex
phenomenon, reflecting the interaction between features of a person’s body and
features of the society in which he or she lives.
Meaning of Disability:
Disability is an impairment that may be cognitive, development,
intellectual, activity, limitations, sensory or some combination of these. It
substantially affects a person’s life activities and may be present from birth
or occur during a person’s lifetime. Disability is a contested concept, with
different meanings of different communities. It may be used to refer to physical
or mental attributes that some institutions, particularly medicine, view as
needing to be fixed. It may refer to limitations imposed on people by the
constraints of an ablest society.
People with disabilities have the same health needs as non disabled
people for immunizations, cancer screening etc. They may also experience a
narrow margin of health both because of poverty and social exclusion and also
because they may be vulnerable to secondary conditions such as pressure sores or
urinary tract infections.
International Human Rights: UN Charter:
The charter of the United Nations of 1945 is the
foundational treaty of the United Nations, an intergovernmental organization.
Article 55 says that With a view to the
creation of conditions of stability and well being which are necessary for the
peaceful and friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle
of equal rights and self determination of people's, the United Nations s shall
a. Higher standard of living
, full employment and conditions of economic and social progress and
b. solutions of international economic, social, health, and related problems and
international cultural and educational cooperation
c. Universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental
freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion.
Declaration On The Rights of Disabled Persons:
The Declaration of the Rights of Disabled persons was a declaration of the
General Assembly of the United Nations made on 9 Dec 1975. It is the 3447th
resolution made by by the Assembly.
The disabled person shall enjoy all rights contained in this
declaration without distinction or discrimination. The disabled persons have
inherent rights to respect for their human dignity and irrespective of the
origin, nature and seriousness of their handicaps and disabilities, have same
Fundamental Rights. Disabled persons have the same civil and political rights as
other human beings. Disabled persons are entitled to the measures designed to
enable them to become as self-reliant as possible. Disabled persons have the
right to economic and social security, including the right, according to their
capabilities, to secure and retain employment or to engage in a useful,
productive and remunerative occupation and to join trade unions. Disabled
persons have the right to live with their families or with foster parents and to
participate in all social, creative or recreational activities. Disabled persons
shall be protected against all exploitation and treatment of a discriminatory,
abusive or degrading nature.
Provisions of the
1) The definition of " disabled person" as anyone who
cannot ensure the necessities of a normal individual and or social life as a
result of deficiency in physical or mental capabilities.
2) A non discrimination clause applying the Rights to all disabled
persons regardless of " race , colour, sex, language, religion, political
or other opinions , national or social origin , state of wealth, birth " or
3) Anna statement regarding
disabled persons right to respect for their human dignity.
The Convention On The Rights of Persons With Disabilities:
The Convention on the Rights of Disabilities is an
international human rights treaty of the United Nations intended to protect the
Rights and dignity of persons with disabilities. Parties to the
convention are required to promote , protect and ensure the full enjoyment of
human rights by persons with disabilities and ensure that they enjoy full
equality under the law.
In the charter of the United Nations it is proclaimed that the inherent dignity
and worth and the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human
family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world. Similarly,
the United Nations, in the universal declaration of human rights and in the
International covenants on Economic, Social and cultural rights. It is supposed
that the convention would make a significant contribution to redressing the
profound social disadvantage of persons with disabilities and promote their
participation in the civil, political, economic, and social and cultural spheres
with equal opportunities, in both developing and developed countries. The
convention on the Rights of Persons with disabilities deals with matters such
as, general principles on the basis of which the rights of the disabled persons
are to be promoted and protected, the obligations that have been undertaken by
the State parties to adopt measures. The protocol has been added to the present
convention authorizing the Committee on the Peron with Disabilities to receive
and consider communications from or on behalf of individuals or groups of
individuals, who claim to be victims of a violation by a State party of the
provisions of the present convention.
Constitutional Rights of Disabled Persons:
1. Prohibition of Discrimination:
Article 15 is a manifestation of “Right to Equality” under article 14, as it
enshrines a specific dimension of the principles of equality relating to
discrimination by state or various grounds . Under article 15 the protection
extends only to citizens , unlike article 14 which protects ‘ any person’ . Thus
in application article 15 protects from discriminatory state activities but the
ambit of article 15 is narrower than that of article 14.
Article 15 of the Indian constitution deals with “prohibition of discrimination”
on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.
It runs as
Article 15(2) says, no no citizen shall on the grounds only of religion, race,
caste, sex, place of birth or any of them, be subjected to any disabilities
liability restriction or condition with regard to :
(a) Access to shops, public restaurants, hotels and places of public
(b) The use of wells, tanks, bathing ghats, roads and places of public resort
maintained wholly or partly out of the state funds dedicated to the use of the
Equity In Social, Economics And Cultural Rights:
Article 25 of the CRDP recognizes the “right of a person with disabilities to
education. With a view to realizing this right without discrimination and on the
basis of equal opportunity , state parties shall ensure an inclusive education
system at all levels and lifelong learning.” They considered constitution to
grant education to children with disabilities if they explicitly guarantee the
right to education , the right to free education, or the right to compulsory
education to children with disabilities or prohibit discrimination in education
on the basis if disability. Globally only 28% of the countries provide some type
of constitutional guarantee of educational rights or the children with
3. Right To Work:
Article 27 of the CRDP instructs states to “recognizes the right of persons with
disabilities to work, on an equal basis with others; this includes the rights to
opportunity to gain a living by work freely chosen or accepted in a labour
market and work environment that is open, inclusive and accessible to persons
Right To Liberty:
Article 14 of the CRPD instructs state parties to guarantee people with
disabilities the right to liberty and security of person. We considered the
right to liberty to be guaranteed to persons with disabilities if they were
explicitly granted the right to freedom or liberty. Globally, only 9% of the
constitution explicitly guarantee the right to liberty to persons with
disabilities. However 19% of the constitution specifies that the right to
liberty can be denied to persons with the mental health condition.
Right To Freedom of Expression:
In article 21, the CRPD states that to “take all appropriate measures to ensure
that persons with disabilities can exercise the right to freedom of expression
and opinion include the freedom to seek, receive and impart information and
ideas on an equal basis with others and through all forms of communications of
Rights of Disabled Persons In India:
Persons with disabilities are one of the most neglected sections of
our nation. This is due to the sheer indifference of the society which subjects
such people to disapproval and antipathy. Such people have several rights under
various Indian laws as well as UN conventions that are followed in India. Under
section 2(i) of Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995,"disability" includes
blindness, low vision, leprosy cured, hearing impairment, locomotor disability,
mental retardation and mental illness.
It is the most basic document that a disabled person
should possess in order to avail certain benefits and concessions. The State
Medical Boards established under the State governments can issue a disability
certificate to any person with more than 40% disability.
People who are above 18 years of age, suffering with more
than 80% disability and are living below the poverty line are entitled to the
disability pension under the Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme.
Various NGOs are dedicated to this because i.e. they help such persons with
disabilities to get their disability pension.
Employment: In government jobs, 3% of the seats are reserved for persons with
Income Tax Concession:
Under sections 80DD and 80U of Income Tax Act, 1961,
persons with disabilities are also entitled to certain income tax concessions.
Person With Disabilities Act 1995
The Persons with
Disabilities Act , 1995 had come into enforcement on Feb 7, 1996. It is a
significant step which ensures equal opportunities for the people with
disabilities and their full participation in the nation building . The Act
provides for both the preventive and promotional aspects of rehabilitation like
education , employment and vocational training, reservation , research and
manpower development and rehabilitation of persons with disability ,
unemployment allowance for the disabled persons.
Main Provisions of the Act:
1) Prevention and
Early Detection of Disabilities
4) Non discrimination
5) Social Security
6 ) Research and manpower development
7) Grievance Redress In Jared Abiding v.
Union of India
the supreme Court bearing in mind the
discomfort and harassment suffering by a person of locomotor so disability would
face while travelling by train particularly to far off places issued directions
to the Indian Airlines to grant persons suffering from locomotor so disability
to the extent of 80%.
In National Federation of blind v . UPSC
The supreme Court held that , UPSC may be directed to allow
blind persons for appearing the examinations for Indian administrative and
In Government of NCT of Delhi v. Bharath Lalmeena
The Delhi High court held that people with
disabilities can be appointed as physical education teachers provided they have
passed the qualifying examination undergone the requisite training.
Policies In India:
National policy for
persons with disabilities, 2006 . The Government of India formulated the
national Policy for persons with disabilities in Feb 2006 which deals with the
physical , educational and economic rehabilitation of persons with
The National Policy recognise the Persons with Disabilities are
valuable human resources for the country and seeks to create an environment
that provides them equal opportunities, protection of their rights and full
participation in society . Some of the aspects which
the policy focuses on are:
1) Prevention of
Disabilities 2) Rehabilitation Measures 3)
Women with disabilities 4) Children with disabilities
Disability refers to the disadvantage or restrictions of activity caused by
the way society is organised which takes little or no account if people who have
physical , sensory or mental impairments . Disability is an unfortunate part od
human life which can effect not only the natural way of a living but also
despair component strength and power . The Government needs to launch more
social security schemes for disabled sections and generate more employment
opportunities for them . Several schemes and benefits conference on the
disabled persons has come up as relief and has successfully served to provide
equal opportunities to the disabled section.