Nepal: Disability Rights include Political Rights Confirmed in New Constitution!!

The rights of persons with disabilities, going to be addressed in the new constitution of Nepal.

Ultimately the long and hard struggle of persons with disabilities for their political and other rights in the new constitution have brought a remarkable result. National Federation of the Disabled Nepal has been leading the campaigns for last few years and for last few weeks it had been intensified.

The demands of persons with disabilities are now confirmed to be addressed. The finally signed report produced by the special committee on 8th August has incorporated the six important provisions for the persons with disabilities in the constitution including the provisions of their representation in the provincial and national parliaments.

The powerful special committee was constituted by the Constituent Assembly on July 29, 2015 with the direction to analyze the collected feedbacks from the public on the draft constitution and to submit the final report to the Constitutional-Political Dialogue committee. The special committee formed in the chair of honorable Dr. Baburam Bhattarai comprises of other four top leaders and law makers of major political parties honorable Mr. Shusil Koirala (Nepali Congress), Mr. KP Sharma Oli (Nepal Communist Party UML), Mr. Puspa Kamal Dahal (Nepal Communist Party United Maoist), and Mr.Bijaya Kumar Ghacheedar (Madhesi Janadhikar Forum)

Responding the demands of persons with disabilities, (continuing all the provisions what already have come in the preliminary draft of constitution) the following additional provisions have been addressed in the reports of the committee from disability perspective.

a) In Rights to Equity (fundamental rights) ; any kinds of discrimination on the basis of disabilities has been prohibited and it has also provisioned to make special laws to protect the rights of persons with disabilities along with other marginalized communities.

b) In social justice (Article 47.1.); the rights of persons with disabilities to participate in the various state mechanisms and public services have been protected on the basis of the principle of inclusion.

c) The report has clearly mentioned that the “persons with disabilities” should be added in the different provisions of fundamental rights which are made to address the special rights of various marginalized communities.

d) In the provision of federal parliament (Article 88), the political party should ensure the representation of eligible persons with disabilities while nominating the candidates for the election of federal assembly (i.e. the federal parliament)

e) In the provision of provincial parliament (Article 175), the political party should ensure the representation of eligible persons with disabilities while nominating the candidates for the election of provincial parliament.

f)In the provision of National Assembly of 51 members (Article 90, Upper House), out of the total 48 seats to be nominated by the political parties (8 seats from each province) one seat from each province will be given to the persons with disabilities or representative from minorities groups.