The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is an international human rights instrument of the United Nations intended to protect the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities. Having an explicit social developmental dimension, the Convention adopts a broad categorization of persons with disabilities and reaffirms that all persons with all types of disabilities must enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms. The Preamble to the Convention recognises the need to promote and protect the human rights of all persons with disabilities, including those who require more intensive support.
The Preamble also recognises the valued existing and potential contributions made by persons with disabilities to the overall well-being and diversity of their communities and states that the promotion of the full enjoyment by persons with disabilities of their human rights and fundamental freedoms and of full participation by persons with disabilities will result in their enhanced sense of belonging and in significant advances in the human, social and economic development of society and the eradication of poverty.
Non-Aligned Movement has expressed its commitment to promote the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms on an equal basis for persons with disabilities.
As such, the Movement has extended its support to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and has called upon all such States that have not yet become parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol to do so.
NAM Member States have implemented a number of laws, policies and standards pertaining to persons with disabilities and within the framework of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. A few such initiatives undertaken in a select few NAM Member States are mentioned hereafter.
Jamaica was the first country in the world to sign and ratify the UNCRPD in 2007. Jamaica passed the Disability Act to promote and protect their rights in 2014. Inclusive social services, disability rights and targeted service provisions are all part of this legislation. The Disabilities Act seeks to reinforce and promote the recognition and acceptance, within Jamaica, of the principle that a person with a disability has the same fundamental rights as any other person; and promote individual dignity and autonomy, including the freedom of choice and independence of a person with a disability.
India signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and subsequently ratified the same on 1st October, 2007. In December 2016, the Indian Parliament passed “The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill – 2016. Among the main provisions of the Act, every child with benchmark disability between the age group of 6 and 18 years shall have the right to free education.
Moreover, Government funded educational institutions as well as the government recognized institutions will have to provide inclusive education to the children with disabilities. Additional benefits such as reservation in higher education, government jobs, reservation in allocation of land, poverty alleviation schemes etc. have also been provided for persons with benchmark disabilities and those with high support needs. Tanzania signed and ratified the UNCRPD in 2009 and has streamlined its policies with regard to persons with disability accordingly. Tanzania has signed the Plan of Action for the African Decade of Persons with Disabilities 1999–2009, extended to 2019. The Social Welfare Department under the Ministry for Health and Social Welfare is responsible for the implementation in consultation with an appointed Secretariat. The Ministry of Health has designated a focal person for issues related to physical rehabilitation. National Disability Mainstreaming Strategy (NDMS) was launched in the country in 2011. NDMS outlines issues, needs and rights of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) which need advocacy for mainstreaming. Thus, NAM Member States are committed promote disability- inclusive developments towards the goals of the advancement of the rights of all persons which is deeply rooted in the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.