UN recommends strong social protection scheme for persons with disabilities in Bangladesh

The United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) has called on Bangladesh to adopt and implement a national strategy to reduce poverty among persons with disabilities.

In its review published on Friday on the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the committee recommended that the government of Bangladesh develop a strong social protection system that guarantees an adequate standard of living, including care disability-related expenses.

In Bangladesh, there have been concerns about extreme poverty and the lack of social protection measures in the disabled community.

The report found that people with disabilities here, particularly women and members of religious and indigenous groups, are deprived of their legal capacity to enter into contracts or inherit property.

The committee called on Bangladesh to amend its legislation to introduce decision-making measures that duly respect the autonomy, will and preferences of persons with disabilities.

In addition to Bangladesh, the last session of the CRPD examined the situation of persons with disabilities in eight other countries, including China, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, New Zealand, Singapore and Ukraine.

The report raises serious concerns about disabled Uyghur people and other Muslim minorities detained in vocational education and training centers in China and the fact that their disability-related needs are not being taken care of.

The country has been urged to take swift action to release Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities with disabilities from vocational education and training centers and to ensure that all their disability-related needs are immediately met while in detention.

The committee was also disturbed by reports of reprisals against civil society organizations in mainland China and Hong Kong for their advocacy work on the rights of persons with disabilities, particularly in relation to their cooperation with the United Nations. United. He called on China to take all necessary measures to ensure that persons with disabilities can exercise their right to freedom of expression and opinion, including in the context of their collaboration with the United Nations.

Meanwhile, in Indonesia, the prolonged use of harmful and forced practices against people with psychosocial disabilities, such as chaining, isolation and restraints, has raised serious concerns. The country was asked to prohibit such measures within families and social welfare institutions. The recommendation for Indonesia includes adopting a deinstitutionalization strategy, strengthening its support for the National Disability Commission, developing non-coercive community-based mental health services, and establishing an independent mechanism follow-up and complaints accessible to people with disabilities.

In Japan, people with disabilities, especially people with intellectual and/or psychosocial disabilities, the elderly and children requiring more intensive support, have been placed in institutions for long periods of time, thus being deprived of family life. and community. He called on Japan to take accelerated action to end institutionalization by reallocating its budgets to help people with disabilities live independently in the community. The CRPD recommended that Japan end segregated special education and adopt a national action plan for inclusive quality education, with specific goals, timelines and sufficient budget to ensure that all students with disabilities receive individualized support at all levels of education.

The committee was deeply concerned about the lack of progress in abolishing the guardianship system based on reports that some 16,000 persons with disabilities were still subject to such a system in the Republic of Korea. It called on the State party to replace guardianships and guardianships with supported decision-making systems and to provide individualized support while respecting the autonomy, will and preferences of persons with disabilities.

In New Zealand, the level of poverty is disproportionately high among people with disabilities, particularly Maori, who are two to three times more likely to live in poverty than the general population. The committee called on New Zealand to speed up the implementation of the recommendations of the Welfare Expert Advisory Group to address the inequity and complexity of the social security system for people with disabilities.

During the public dialogue during the session, the committee expressed grave concern about the legality, imposition and execution of the death penalty against persons with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities in Singapore. The committee also expressed concern about violations of freedom of expression and opinion, peaceful assembly and freedom of association of persons with disabilities, and reports of reprisals against civil society organizations for their work advocacy on the rights of people with disabilities.

The review report noted serious concerns about people with disabilities who were allegedly trapped in conflict zones in Ukraine and that evacuation from institutions in conflict zones was not a priority. The country, together with the Russian Federation, was urged to immediately evacuate persons with disabilities who remain in residential institutions on Ukrainian territory under their respective control and to ensure that the evacuation process is controlled by independent parties .

The CRPD was concerned about the high rate of illiteracy and the high number of school dropouts among persons with disabilities in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic.

Joel C. Hicks