BlueLaw International

Mobilizing Disabled Peoples’ Organizations to Implement Bangladesh’s Disability Law

Six years after ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Bangladesh enacted the Rights and Protection of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2013, which recognized enforceable rights for Bangladeshis with disabilities for the first time and created a novel complaints procedure for seeking remedies outside of court. Yet little had been done to raise awareness of the Rights and Protection of Persons with Disabilities Act’s rights or its novel procedure, until a collaboration between BlueLaw International, an inclusive development firm, and three Bangladeshi organizations with national scope to empower local disabled peoples’ organizations to advocate for implementation of the law in 7 of Bangladesh’s 64 districts. After three years, this team had filed the first 22 complaints under the novel Section 36 procedure before district-level committees created by the Rights and Protection of Persons with Disabilities Act. Although to date the outcomes of these complaints have been mixed, disabled peoples’ organization efforts to activate this mechanism have yielded valuable lessons regarding effective advocacy strategies that can inform future disabled peoples’ organization-led efforts. Although prospects for tangible governmental buy-in for effective, countrywide enforcement of the Rights and Protection of Persons with Disabilities Act may be dim for now, disabled peoples’ organizations have demonstrated their capacity to contribute meaningfully to operationalizing this important vehicle for domestic implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

 

Link: https://academic.oup.com/jhrp/article/13/2/433/6498040?guestAccessKey=f4bc1564-c941-4817-8516-068b1eef14c4