Advocates Insist New Constitution Must Guarantee Rights
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
May 24, 2006
KATHMANDU, NEPAL--A new Nepal Constitution must guarantee the rights of people with disabilities to be included in the social mainstream, instead of simply showing sympathy and pity for them, an audience of human rights activists, lawyers and politicians was told last Saturday.
Speaking at a program called "The Place and Role of the Disabled in the Constituent Assembly Elections", members of the Fellowship Society Nepal, Nepal Human Rights Organization, Nepal Blind Welfare Association, said that, while many protections for the estimated three million Nepalese citizens with disabilities are enshrined in the 1990 Constitution, they have not yet been implemented.
According to the Gorkhapatra Sansthan news service, people with disabilities were protesting in the streets as recently as April of this year, demanding that their Constitutional rights be respected. Some of the demonstrators were beaten during police actions.
"If the government could not address the concerns of the disabled, the state could relapse into a cycle of conflict and violence once again," said Kumar Thapa of the Nepal Blind Welfare Association.
The groups are asking that a newly created Constitution should include such things as the right to employment, job training, education and health care.
"Call for secure rights of disabled" (Gorkhapatra Sansthan)
"Editorial: Empowering The Disabled" (Gorkhapatra Sansthan)