Nepalese Supreme Court Issues 13 Orders on Disability Rights
By Padam Pariyar
Dear respected readers, I am from Nepal, a beautiful Himalayan country in Asia. I am with USICD as an IREX Community Solutions Program Fellow from August through December. In Nepal, I work on issues of disability and development for Handicap International other DPO’s. Here is a short update about a recent Nepalese Supreme Court Order to enforce the rights and benefits of persons with disabilities in Nepal.
The Supreme Court of Nepal had issued 13 orders related to the education, health, social security, and government services as they pertain to people with disabilities. A joint bench of the Supreme Court Judges issued the six mandamus and seven directive orders to ensure the rights of people with disabilities in Nepal.
The mandamuses require the government to provide living allowances to the identified persons with disabilities. The Supreme Court order also included a directive order to the government to conduct a census of all types of persons with disabilities and a segregated analysis. Another order says that the government should build at least one home for people with disabilities every year in the districts and areas with sizable disabled population. The Supreme Court had ordered the government to implement the provisions in the effective manner related to all the accommodation, education, health, training and other facilities to people with disabilities.
The joint bench of the apex court issued mandamuses requiring the government to post at least one social welfare official in every district to provide the above-mentioned allowances within three months from the date of receiving this order. Through the mandamus, the Supreme Court has directed the government to appoint social welfare officers within six months from the date this mandamus has been issued and to inform the Supreme Court on the implementation of this order within the seventh month. The apex court orders require the assignment of a monitoring officer at the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare and the Council of Ministers Secretariat to monitor the activities of the non-government agencies, to formulate programs and make special arrangements for people with disabilities. Furthermore, the orders state that the government should take prompt actions to revise and integrate disability rights in the related acts and regulations.
Dipendra Shakya, a Nepalese with a severe disability, and Sudharson Subedhi, a disability rights advocate and leader had jointly filed a writ at the Supreme Court in August last year. The Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Health and Population, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Local Development, the National Planning Commission and the Legislature-Parliament were named as the defendants in the writ. As a ratified state party of the CRPD, Nepal has begun making its laws and policies more disability inclusive in line with the Convention.