Almost everywhere across the world there are the disabled people, who were regarded to have been subjected to different evil fates—something or other. They are also called the world’s largest minority. According to the UN records, the disabled persons amounted to over one billion. It was said that they are being segregated in different ways, suffering from myriads of difficulties, natural disasters and poverty. Among them, more than 80 per cent of the disabled populace is living in the developing countries, it was said. Studies pointed out that the disabled ones occupied over 4.6 percent of the entire national populace of Myanmar.
In the human-right point of view, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities—CRPD was promulgated under the order A/RES/61/106 by the UN General Assembly on 13th December 2006.
In the Convention, the points for the global countries to implement the tasks of making the disabled persons enjoy their inborn rights, dignities and people’s respects towards them, removing people’s discrimination and acquiring equal rights like the abled bodies were included.
Myanmar signed the Convention as a member country on 7th December 2011. Such a signing is meant for the solemn pledge to the international communities that Myanmar will protect inborn rights of the disabled persons living in the country and implement the prescriptions as included in the Convention, so as to protect these rights.
After signing the Convention, supplementary efforts were successfully implemented. On 5th June 2015 Law on the Rights of the Disabled Persons was promulgated under the notification no 30 of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw.
Secondly, Myanmar Federation of Persons with Disabilities managed to be formed. As the third initiative, the National Committee on Rights of Persons with Disabilities led by the Vice-President.
The National Committee established has 9 objectives and 25 obligations to be implemented. Such an establishment of the National Committee can be said to be an encouragement for the persons with disabilities as well as a ray of hope for them to enjoy rights without any discriminations.
Little was known about the persons with disabilities as for the most of the people across the world, as to how many disabled persons are living in the quarters, in their societies and in the country they live and as to what kinds of difficulties they are suffering. Some may have known these facts, but they sure lack knowledge how to help them. Accordingly, the United Nations Organization designated 3rd December as the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. On this day, ceremonies and talk shows marking the international day of persons with disabilities are annually held in many parts of the country under the sponsorship of the governmental organizations and non-governmental organizations with a view for the entire global populace to be well convinced of rights of the disabled persons. By taking active participation of the disabled ones themselves in these events people will come to recognize and pay respect to the persons with disabilities and their dignities.
In several decades ago, people used to regard the disabled ones to be victims of different evil fates, feeling great pity towards them whereas some generally neglected them without having pity and understanding towards them. What the worst is that there were discriminations even in some families. However, in today’s world the knowledge on democracy is more rapidly around the world, thus tidy filtration of the doctrines on democratic rights in the minds of the people. For this, we must change or get rid of old habits and doctrines conceived in us for many years.
Every individual can enjoy human rights and they have their respective dignities, as can the persons with disabilities because the latter ones as well belong to human societies.
Every individual including the disabled ones has their inborn dignities. For this, they have rights for an access to academic learning, rights to cast votes, rights to be elected, freedom of expression, freedom of collection of news and information and etc., like the abled bodies.
Being citizens living in the country, they have all the citizen rights. Kinds of the rights they get must be the human rights they deserve as human beings, absolutely not the kind given out of pity. To fulfill these needs it is incumbent upon the State in which they are residing.
As for the rules and laws promulgated, they need to be effective ones.
Each and every one of us is responsible for them not to be segregated on the wrong pretext of disabilities.
In case discriminations were allowed, they might be deprived of their inborn rights, reputations and potential developments.
Forbidding their progress will be a hindrance for them as well as a great burden for their families.
Persons with disabilities as well have their respective own abilities, likely to become beneficial ones for the families and for the nation.
As for the Government of the State, it is required to make concerted effort for eradication of hindrances and kinds of discrimination.
Last but not least, we would like to urge our people to cooperate in eradicating the practices of discrimination in recognition of reputation of the disabled persons after keeping in our minds that persons with disabilities have similar rights and reputations like all of us, as there are still behaviors of segregation in many spheres across the nation.
Translated by Khin Maung Oo