ISLAMABAD, Feb 17 (APP): The first meeting of the Council on the Rights of Persons with Disability (CRPD) was held at the Ministry of Human Rights here on Wednesday.
The meeting was chaired by the Federal Minister for Human Rights, Dr Shireen Mazari, in her capacity as Chairperson of the Council. It comprises of members of National Assembly and Senate; members of the Ministry of Information, Finance, Education, and PASS; Chairman Capital Development Authority (CDA); Executive Director National Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine (NIRM); and three Persons with Disability (PWDs).
The Council has been constituted under the ICT Rights of Persons with Disability Act 2020, which was promulgated in September 2020.
The legislation seeks to promote, protect and effectively ensure the Rights and inclusion of persons with disabilities in line with the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and international commitments such as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (UNCRPD) that Pakistan ratified in 2011.
The first CRPD meeting focused on the role and functions of the Council as defined by the Act.
The members were given a briefing on the current status of legislation and institutional mechanisms in place to cater to PWDs. The first agenda item focused on the preparation of the rules of CRPD.
The council also discussed the establishment of a Secretariat of the CRPD as well as the reconstitution of the Medical Assessment Board for disability. It has been proposed that the Board include doctors of more specialties such as a child specialist and a neuro-physician, as well as upgrade the procedures of assessment.
Major functions of the CRPD include the effective implementation of the Act, including to assist the government in developing a legal & institutional framework to effectively administer the Rights of PWDs.
The council is also meant to evaluate the effectiveness and implementation of laws and policies.
The Council shall put into the place an institutional mechanism to regularly monitor the performance of various departments & organizations in the government, as well as that of private and community based organizations to ensure that the required standard of services are being met. Finally, the Council shall also have the powers to address individual and collective complaints of violations of human rights of PWDs.