Flawed laws obstacle to ensuring rights of people with disabilities
Flawed laws and lack of accountability and sincerity in implementing the laws hinder the move to eliminate discrimination against the people with disability, speakers said at a view exchange meeting yesterday.
“The most ignored ministry in Bangladesh is the social welfare ministry that mainly deals with the people with disability. And our election manifesto does not allow existence of any ignored or disadvantaged people in the country as we have made the manifesto as a charter of change,” said State Minister for Primary and Mass Education Md Motahar Hossain.
The meeting titled 'Updated law in securing the rights of disabled people' organised by National Forum of Organisations Working with the Disabled (NFOWD) in association with Disability Rights Fund was held at Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) auditorium.
AL lawmaker Dr Capt (retd) Mojibur Rahman Fakir assured that the existing law would be reformed soon in the parliament.
Lawmaker Mir Shawkat Ali Badsha said, “There must be a political commitment from the part of the government so that politicisation does not take place in forming the local administration level committees for the people with disability. And it is a necessity to have a draft law suggesting reforms in the existing one.”
AHM Noman Khan presented the keynote paper at the meeting while the draft law suggesting major reforms in the existing law regarding people with disability was also placed for open discussion at the meeting.
The keynote paper revealed that the coordination committee and executive committee for the people with disability held only five meetings each, whereas they were supposed to hold seven and 28 meetings respectively over the last years since the law for the people with disability was formulated in 2001.
The keynote paper also termed the status of the district committees for the disabled deplorable since most of the presidents and members of the committees do not know about existence of the committees.
The paper also observed that the outlook and promises made in the existing laws failed to provide safety for the people with disability as the law discussed more on their physical inability rather than the social and environmental obstacle they are facing.
Lawmaker Manjur Qader Quarishi, Advocate Dr Naim Ahmed, Dhaka District Commissioner Dr Khandaker Shawkat Hossain and NFOWD Secretary General Jawaherul Islam Mamun also spoke at the discussion while NFOWD President Jahurul Alam conducted the meeting.