Expanding the Horizons of Disability Law in India: A Study from a Human Rights Perspective

Chopra, Tushti
December 2013
Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics;Winter2013, Vol. 41 Issue 4, p807
Academic Journal
Disabled/'differently abled' persons by virtue of being human have the right to enjoy human rights to life, liberty, equality, security, and dignity. However, due to social indifference, psychological barriers, a limited definition of 'disability' entitling protection of law, and a lack of proper data, disabled persons in India remain an invisible category. Although several laws exit to ensure their full and effective participation in society, they remain insufficient as they are primarily based on the government's discretion. At the same time, whenever the judiciary finds an opportunity, it acts as a real protector of disabled persons, but it is not feasible to knock on the door of the judiciary for every request. Interestingly, various civil societies and human rights activists have occasionally asserted the rights of the disabled. However, unless the foundation stones of law are fortified, disabled persons cannot fully realize their rights. It is high time to enact effective laws, with timely implementation, to protect their interests and empower their capabilities that are based on a 'rights-based approach' rather than on the charity, medical, or social approaches. Thus, the horizons of law must be expanded to provide a 'human friendly environment' for all of the disabled to overcome the barriers that impair their development.


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