Thursday, 6 February 2014

RPD Bill just, cannot be passed. It is totally mutilated.

I have been going thru the draft bill by cabinet and 1 prepared by the committee set up to draft the bill. I find that each and every section has been diluted and civil political rights, health, education, employment etc., and especially the legal capacity has been completely dismantled. The term “unsound of mind” an anathema in the post UNCRPD era finds its self merrily rocking the foundations of human rights. Disabled persons covered by NT act are once again getting step-motherly treatment. There is no NT Act amendment anywhere in the near future, so what about our legal capacity???? For persons with it is worse than step-motherly treatment, its apartheid.
There is no point in working out a clause by clause, section by section analysis, I think I wasted valuable time doing it.. Everything that exists in the cabinet draft needs to be chucked out and we need to go back to the committee draft and build consensus from there.
After looking that the draft at hand, the most ardent supporter for pushing for the new law in parliament must have by now come to his/her senses that this cannot be passed. The dharnas and morchas that have been planned must continue, but with the caveat that this draft is thrown out of the window and a more robust law must be sought.
1995 was a bad law, but over the years we have thru litigation agitation made it a better law. We can wait as we have 1995 to fall back on till such time we get the new law.
Nilesh Singit
Disability Rights Activist