Task Force for the UN con­ven­tion on the right of per­sons with dis­abil­i­ties

Bhutan Times - - Front Page - Lhakpa Tsh­er­ing

Ahigh level task force was es­tab­lished to study and un­der­take prepa­ra­tion for rat­i­fi­ca­tion of the United Na­tion (UN) con­ven­tion on the rights of per­sons with dis­abil­i­ties.

The first meet­ing of the mem­bers of the high level task force was held with an ob­jec­tive to ini­ti­ate con­sid­er­a­tion of the state of na­tional pre­pared­ness to move to­wards on the rat­i­fi­ca­tion of the con­ven­tion in the cap­i­tal last Wed­nes­day.

The chair­man of the com­mit­tee for­eign min­is­ter Ly­onpo Dam­cho Dorji said that it is im­por­tant for the stake­holder agen­cies to have an over­view of the con­ven­tion it­self to know what it is and also have the fair iden­tity of what the roles of the re­spec­tive agen­cies will be as the pro­vi­sions of the con­ven­tion. “This com­mit­tee is now come with a very com­pre­hen­sive rec­om­men­da­tion to the gov­ern­ment as to what should be done in the stage wise. What ba­si­cally is to come up with the com­pre­hen­sive rec­om­men­da­tion to the gov­ern­ment be­fore rat­i­fi­ca­tion,” Ly­onpo said.

Ly­onpo also said that all the stake­holder are to iden­tify what are the in­fra­struc­ture and fa­cil­i­ties that needed to put in place in the var­i­ous sec­tors and agen­cies.

The first ar­ti­cle of the con­ven­tion states that the pur­pose of the con­ven­tion is to pro­mote, pro­tect and en­sure the full en­joy­ment of all hu­man rights and fun­da­men­tal free­doms by all per­sons with dis­abil­i­ties.

Ar­ti­cle 10 reaf­firms peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties have the right to life. Coun­tries must take all nec­es­sary mea­sures to en­sure that peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties are able to ef­fec­tive en­joy this right on an equal ba­sis with oth­ers.

Ar­ti­cle 15 of the con­ven­tion fur­ther reaf­firms peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties have the right to be free from tor­ture and from cruel, in­hu­man or de­grad­ing treat­ment or pun­ish­ment. No one shall be sub­jected to med­i­cal or sci­en­tific ex­per­i­men­ta­tion with­out his or her free con­sent.

The min­is­ter ex­plained that all the ar­ti­cles in the con­ven­tion are im­por­tant as per­sons with dis­abil­i­ties are vul­ner­a­ble to many abuses, which will harm their lives.

He also fo­cused on the im­por­tant of en­sur­ing the per­sons with dis­abil­i­ties to ac­cess to op­por­tu­ni­ties and lead a nor­mal life as far as pos­si­ble. “They should be given free­dom of ex­pres­sion and opin­ion be­cause un­less we hear from them, we will not know what fa­cil­i­ties they need.” Ly­onpo added.

The chief pro­gramme of­fi­cer with the Na­tional Com­mis­sion for Women and Chil­dren, Ch­hoeki Pen­jor, said that the pro­vi­sions men­tioned in the con­ven­tion on women and chil­dren is­sues, are al­ready ap­pear­ing in the coun­try and also be­ing trans­lated into the na­tional laws. How­ever, there is much to do in terms of pol­icy, ser­vices or pro­vid­ing in­fra­struc­ture fa­cil­i­ties for per­sons with dis­abil­i­ties, be­fore the rat­i­fi­ca­tion. She sug­gested iden­ti­fy­ing the agency to man­age the so­cial pro­tec­tion for the peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties.

Some of the chal­lenges dis­cussed dur­ing the meet­ing for the dis­abil­i­ties were lack of phys­i­cal in­fra­struc­ture, weak co­or­di­na­tion among the stake­hold­ers, lack of spe­cial­ized and trained peo­ple to deal with per­sons with dis­abil­i­ties.

The 15th spe­cial ses­sion of the Lhengye Zhungt­shog held on April 20 this year de­cided to de­fer rat­i­fi­ca­tion of the UN Con­ven­tion on the rights of Per­sons with Dis­abil­i­ties.

How­ever, the for­eign min­istry was di­rected to co­or­di­nate with rel­e­vant agen­cies and pre­pare a com­pre­hen­sive pa­per for rat­i­fi­ca­tion of the con­ven­tion by the Par­lia­ment in fu­ture.

The High Level Task Force com­prises mem­bers from eigh­teen na­tional stake­holder agen­cies in­clud­ing civil so­ci­ety which will be guided by the Rules of Pro­ce­dure for Treaty Mak­ing 2016 for sub­mis­sion of the Con­ven­tion for rat­i­fi­ca­tion by Par­lia­ment.

The stake­holder agen­cies of the High Level task force un­der the chair­man­ship of For­eign Min­is­ter will con­tinue in next meet­ing to sub­mit for rat­i­fi­ca­tion by Par­lia­ment. There will be a uni­form pre­sen­ta­tion by the rep­re­sen­ta­tive of each stake­holder.

The For­eign Min­is­ter will be chair of the High Level Task Force. Bhutan signed the con­ven­tion on Septem­ber 21, 2010.

GNH is en­shrined in Bhutan’s Con­sti­tu­tion, Ar­ti­cle 9[2) as one of the Prin­ci­ples of State Pol­icy. Pro­mot­ing the con­di­tions that en­ables the pur­suit of GNH by all cit­i­zens, so that they, re­gard­less of race, sex, lan­guage, re­li­gion, pol­i­tics, or other sta­tus, may en­joy a good qual­ity of life in a pro­gres­sive and pros­per­ous coun­try is not only one of the ob­jec­tives of gov­ern­ment, but a moral obli­ga­tion.

Ar­ti­cle 7 fur­ther reaf­firms Bhutan’s com­mit­ment to build an in­clu­sive so­ci­ety, one that en­ables all Bhutanese, in­clud­ing those with dis­abil­i­ties, to lead ful­fill­ing lives, to con­trib­ute, and to par­tic­i­pate as full mem­bers of so­ci­ety

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