ISLAMABAD, Jan 22 (APP):Federal Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari Tuesday said the bill to protect the rights of persons with disabilities had been tabled in the National Assembly and referred it to the relevant standing committee of the house for further consideration and approval.

She expressed these views here while chairing the 2nd meeting of National Committee constituted by the Ministry of Human Rights for the implementation of UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, (UNCRPD) and other international commitments pertaining to disability.

The meeting was attended by the representatives of the federal, provincial, AJK and GB governments besides other departments working on disability and data collection. The participants of the committee were briefed about UNCRPD, Incheon Strategy and action plan for operationalzing the strategy’s indicators.

Addressing the meeting, Minister Human Rights Shireen Mazari underlined the need for further collaboration and coordination with relevant stakeholders for collection of data of persons with disabilities.
She said the steps were being taken to ensure the rights of persons with disability through comprehensive strategy. The government was committed to ensure the rights of every citizen in pursuance to the constitution of Pakistan and international commitments, she added.

She asked all the relevant government’s representatives to share updated survey based information and data about persons with disabilities to prepare policies and action plan for protection and promotion of persons with physical and mental disability.

The Committee reviewed Action Plan in pursuance to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with disabilities, (UNCRPD) Incheon strategy and other international commitments pertaining to disability and for seeking concurrence of the stakeholders in the proposed action plan.

The meeting was aimed at seeking concurrence of the provincial governments with regard to the relevant indicators of the Incheon Strategy. Implementation status of the decisions made in the first meeting was also reviewed.

The members of the committee also reviewed the progress and initiatives of all the relevant departments of Federal Special Education and Provincial Special Education and Social Welfare in line with the UNCRPD and Incheon strategy to inform the ministry about existing gaps and further measures to be taken.
It was decided that Human Rights ministry will arrange a workshop at federal level for consideration of recommendations of the DGSE and Provincial governments for implementation of UNCRPD and Incheon strategy and other required information.

It was also decided in the meeting that the provincial governments would notify the similar committees to the National Committee in their respective provinces along with the appointment of focal persons for effective implementation of international commitments.

The provincial governments would consider the rights based legislation where needed.
All the relevant departments were also asked to put forward their future course of action immediately so that Action Plan could be finalized.

The ministry of Human Rights was preparing survey based database and information about PWDs and has asked the relevant governments’ representatives to share updated survey based information that is required for preparing policies and plans for protection of rights of disables.
The provincial governments including AJK and GB apprised the participants of committee about the measures taken by their respective governments to uplift the status of PWDs.

The representatives of all provincial governments also shared in details the provincial initiatives for development of PWDs. Ministry of Human Rights; in collaboration with the statistic division was preparing the reliable and comparable statistical data on the number of PWDs.

The participants were asked to review their progress with regard to UNCRPD and Incheon Strategy to inform the Ministry of Human Rights about their recommendations for consideration of Action Plan without delay.