Parliament passes bill for differently-abled people

The bill will ensure that people with different abilities do not face discrimination in getting education and jobs

The government has passed a bill to curb discrimination against differently-abled citizens. The bill received the nod in a recent parliamentary session. The bill ensures that there is equal participation of people with special needs in politics, education, employment, and equality before the law. It will also protect them from abusive, intolerant, and discriminatory behavior. A 2% quota is set for differently abled people in the government jobs.

A petition was presented to the Parliament in December 2019 calling for a legislation for rights of people with different abilities. It was part of the Equal World initiative steered by Sightsavers, the National Forum of Women with Disabilities, and the Community Based Inclusion Development Network (CBIDN). The bill was introduced in the parliament a few weeks back.

Mazari celebrates

The Human Rights Minister, Shireen Mazari, expressed her pleasure at the approval of the bill in the joint session through a tweet. “Today we finally got our ICT Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill passed through Joint session. It has been an almost-2 year struggle but finally, the Bill has been passed by Parliament,” Mazari’s tweet read.

Supreme Court’s ruling

A person with different abilities recently reached out to the Supreme Court of Pakistan after he was denied a government job due to his disability. The resident of Multan won the care. The court also ordered the federal and provincial governments to strictly follow quotas and ensure that people get the opportunities promised in the constitution.

Differently abled people in Pakistan

The exact number of people with special needs in Pakistan is not known. The data available in this regard is pretty unreliable. Different sources put it between 3.3 million and 27 million people. The 1998 census placed the differently abled persons at 2.38% of the population. However, in the recent census, the number has shrunk to 0.48% which seem inaccurate.

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