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New Bangladesh disability act helps to improve the lives of millions

25 November 2013

On 3 October 2013, the Bangladesh National Parliament enacted the Rights & Protection of Persons with Disabilities Act 2013. This has been a lifelong dream for millions of people with disabilities, their family members and the professionals in the disability and development arena in Bangladesh.

As the name itself suggests, it is a human rights-based law, assembled in the spirit and content of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which entered into force on 3 May 2008. Unfortunately, the previous Disability Welfare Act failed to protect people with disabilities from violence, abuse and discrimination, as well as not helping them from establishing their rights and freedoms.

The new Rights & Protection of Persons with Disabilities Act 2013 deals with disability issues from a human rights perspective and covers persons with disabilities based on their impairments.These have been classified in 11 categories: autism spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy, deafblindness, Down syndrome, hearing impairment, intellectual impairment, physical impairment, psycho-social disability, speech impairment, visual impairment and multiple disabilities.

The law also mandates the issuing of national identity cards, enrolment in regular schools, reservation of seats on all forms of public transportation, accessibility provisions in all public places (including retrofitting), equal opportunities in employment, and protection of inherited property rights.

 

First published: Tuesday 18 June 2013
Last updated: Wednesday 11 October 2017