Request for solidarity and pressure building for the representation of persons with disabilities in Constituent Assembly Nepal

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The universal declaration of human rights has secured the right to take part in the government directly or through their representative as one of the important human rights of each human being. According to this each citizen has right to take part in the decision making process of the state through their representatives. The international covenant of civil and political rights (ICCPR) has ensured the right to political participation and exercise of each citizen. Article 29 of the convention on the rights of persons with disabilities (CRPD) has ensured the right of political participation of persons with disabilities. The interim constitution of Nepal has provision to participate the marginalized group including persons with disabilities in the various mechanisms of state. The constituent assembly election Act of Nepal has also directed the political parties to consider persons with disabilities while selecting candidate in proportional election system. Nepal is the state party of all above mentioned international laws and treaties.

Despite all these national and international legal provision the community of persons with disabilities in Nepal is still deprived to take decision on the matter affecting to their life. In very short, persons with disabilities have no own control over their life. They are surviving a fully dependent life with other's control. At the same time, despite lots of barriers and discrimination persons with disabilities have demonstrated their role as the responsible citizen by participating themselves actively in various peoples' movement  happened for great political and social changes in the history. The political movement of 2046 and 2062/063 are the witnesses of the history.

Today, the nation has a big opportunity to write its constitution with the full ownership of its people. Persons with disabilities also want to see their special rights secured in the new constitution and take a full ownership on it. They want to be the equal citizen of this country and liberate their life from other's control. In fact, disabled community wants to raise their voice in the constituent assembly through their own representatives. This demand is neither unconstitutional nor harmful for political parties and government. Rather it contributes in the human rights promotion and inclusive development.

As the prominent disability rights network of Nepal NFDN has been raising these issues through its various advocacy campaigns for some years. NFDN has taken numbers of initiations to ensure certain seats for persons with disabilities in the close list of candidates to be submitted by different political parties in the Election Commission under the proportional election system. But disabled people were deliberately ignored and bypassed by all political parties. The last hope is now the 26 seats to be nominated by the Council of Ministries. To make this last hope true persons with disabilities are now on the road to build pressure to the political parties and government and NFDN is leading the movement for last 30 days. But neither the political parties are taking this issues seriously nor the government except expressing some sweet positive words. We actually don't want to miss this golden opportunity given us by the history.

So we would like to request to all UN agencies, INGOs working for disability rights, other INGOs, embassies, international human rights organization  Media and all international communities to express solidarity in the movement and build pressure through diplomatic and all other possible initiations for ensuring the representation of persons with disabilities in the 26 seats to be nominated by the Council of Ministry. Your support can be a key contributing factor to ensure the rights of persons with disabilities in the new constitution of Nepal.

Position: National Chairperson-National Federation of the Disabled Nepal(NFDN)


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