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Introduction to Disability Laws in India

The Constitution of India recognizes all persons as equal before the law and guarantees them the right to live life with dignity. This would necessarily mean that the State (Government) should create conditions that would allow disabled persons to live and enjoy the same quality of life as other people. However this has not become a reality in India, due to the continued physical and social barriers that have successfully stigmatized disability in the society.
This stigma stems from apathy, lack of compulsory directives by the government, and a general non-recognition of the fact that disabled persons can contribute as much to society as able persons provided we create conducive conditions. Although there are strong legal provisions to deal with the rights of disabled persons, a paradigm shift in the thought process of the society and a change in the mainstream value system is necessary before these rights can truly be realized.
In this section we will talk about all the constitutional and legal provisions, as well as government orders pertaining to the domain of visual impairment. Additionally, judgements given by various courts, Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities (CCPD), and National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) are also listed.
The Constitution of India entails special provisions for disabled population in India. In order to minimize cases of discrimination it is important, that each and every person is aware of their rights. This section lists all the above mentioned provisions.

Disability Laws in India

1.       Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights, and Full Participation Act (The Persons with Disabilities), 1995
2.       The Rehabilitation Council of India Act, 1992
3.       The National Trust for the Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities Act, 1999

Other Laws with Provisions for Disability in India

  1. The Right to Education Act (The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act), 2009 & Amendments, 2012
  2. Right to Information Act
  3. Copyright Act Amendment 2012

In addition to the laws given above, the central as well as state governments of India have issued various provisions for the disabled. This section covers these provisions 

  1. Central government provisions
  2. Court Orders
  3. State schemes
  4. Circulars

Relevant articles

This section lists out various articles in relation with disability laws in India or internationally or any news related to acts and policies having a bearing on the lives of the visually disabled.

How to file a complaint

This section outlines a basic framework for filing a complaint in the case of discrimination faced due to any kind of disability.

International legal framework

This part of the section outlines the outcomes of various international declarations and conventions supporting the rights of disabled people throughout the world. 

Some international and regional human rights conventions protect the rights of persons with disabilities specifically, or have provisions concerning persons with disabilities. These include:

  1. UN convention on rights of persons with disabilities, 2007
  2. ILO Convention concerning Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Disabled Persons)
  3. Declaration on the Rights of Disabled Persons,
  4. Convention on the Rights of the Child (article 23);
  5. World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons,
  6. Tallinn Guidelines for Action on Human Resources Development in the Field of Disability,
  7. Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities
  8. Salamanca Statement and Framework for Action on Special Needs Education, adopted by the UNESCO World Conference on Special Needs Education: Access and Quality, Salamanca (Spain), 7 - 10 June 1994 .
  9. Biwako millennium framework (for action towards an inclusive, barrier free and rights based society for persons with disabilities in Asia and pacific , 2003-2012)
  10. Draft Incheon Strategy to Make the Right Real for Persons with Disabilities in Asia and the Pacific, 2012( republic of Korea)
  11. Sundberg Declaration on Actions and Strategies for Education, Prevention and Integration, adopted by the UNESCO World Conference on Actions and Strategies for Education, Prevention and Integration, Malaga (Spain), 2 - 7 November 1981,
  12. Inter-American Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Persons With Disabilities
  13. African Charter of Human and People's Rights (art. 18(4));
  14. the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (article 13);
  15. Protocol of San Salvador (Additional Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights in the Area of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights ) (article 6 & 9)
  16. Rio+20 Outcome Document

All international human rights instruments protect the human rights of persons with disabilities, as they apply to all persons. This principle of universality is reinforced by the principles of equality and non-discrimination, which are included in human rights instruments.

Core United Nations Human Rights Conventions

  1. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;
  2. International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights;
  3. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination;
  4. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women(1979)
  5. Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment; 
  6. Convention on the Rights of the Child;
  7. International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families

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