The Government of Nepal, along with organizations of people with disabilities, the Government of the United Kingdom and UNICEF, called for greater opportunities for people and children with disability to help them reach their full potential. The call was jointly made during a conference titled “Disability in Nepal: Working together for an inclusive society” organized in Kathmandu today.
“The Constitution of Nepal clearly prohibits all kinds of discriminations on the grounds of disability and has a provision for equal access to people with disabilities to basic services and rights including healthcare, education, social assistance and employment,”said Honourable Minister of Women, Children and Senior Citizen Tham Maya Thapa.
“The Disability Rights Act of 2017 also makes a substantial departure from the welfare-based approach to the rights-based approach to disability. This is in recognition that people with disabilities are active members of society and when given right opportunities, can significantly contribute in its betterment.”
The disability conference is part of a global wave of action, culminating on 24 July in London, when the Government of the United Kingdom together with the International Disability Alliance (IDA) and the Government of Kenya, will host the first ever Global Disability Summit.
“People and children living with disabilities face huge barriers in reaching their full potential and experience the worst forms of discrimination. The summit in London is expected to raise global attention and focus on disability, mobilize new global and national commitments toward disability and showcase best practices and evidence from across the world,” said Dr. Rurik Marsden, Head of the UK's Department for International Development (DFID) in Nepal. “In the run-up to the Global Summit, the conference in Nepal brings together the Government of Nepal, development partners, civil society organizations and stakeholders with an aim to begin a renewed national dialogue on inclusion of people and children with disabilities in the country’s development agenda.”
According to the Census 2011, around half a million people (1.94 per cent of the population) in Nepal are living with some kind of disability.Experts claim that the actual prevalence rate of disability in Nepal could be much higher.
“The conference drawson the existing data, evidence and initiatives by and for people and children living with disabilities,” said Tomoo Hozumi, UNICEF Representative to Nepal. “We hope that this conference contributes to further strengthening understanding of disability issues in Nepal and fostering commitment to address them not as a single and isolated issue but as an integral part of all sectors and areas of development in Nepal.”
The conference includes a paper presentation and panel discussion on disability in Nepal, sharing of experiences of and challenges faced by people with disability and commitments by stakeholders on disability-inclusive development in Nepal.