ISLAMABAD: The first meeting of the Council for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) chaired by Federal Minister for Human Rights Dr. Shireen Mazari was held here at the Ministry of Human Rights on Wednesday. The meeting was attended by members of the National Assembly and Senate, representatives of the Ministry of Information, Finance, Education, Chairman CDA, Executive Director of the Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine and persons with disabilities.
It should be noted that the Council for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has been constituted under the ICT Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2020 which came into force in September 2020. This law is to promote and ensure the rights and inclusion of persons with disabilities in accordance with the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
Pakistan ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) in 2011. The meeting focused on the role and functions of the council. Members were briefed on the current state of legislation and institutional mechanisms related to PWD. The agenda of the meeting included issues like preparation of CRPD rules, establishment of CRPD Secretariat and reconstitution of Medical Diagnostic Board.
The meeting suggested that the board should include more specialist doctors such as pediatricians and neurophysiologists, and that the diagnostic procedure needs to be upgraded. Key issues in the CRPD include assisting the government in developing a legal and institutional framework for the effective implementation of the Act and the effective protection of the rights of persons with disabilities. The purpose of the council is to review the effective implementation of laws and policies.
The Council will establish an institutional mechanism to formally monitor the performance of various government departments and organizations, as well as private community organizations, to ensure that the required quality of services is being met. The council will also have the power to address individual and collective complaints about human rights abuses by persons with disabilities.