Statement by India at the 40th Session of the Human Rights Council (25 February - 22 March 2019) under Agenda Item: 3 Clustered ID with SR on Disabilities & IE Albinism, delivered by Dr. A. Sudhakara Reddy, Counsellor (Legal), Permanent Mission of India [05 March 2019, Geneva]

Statement by India at the 40th Session of the Human Rights Council (25 February – 22 March 2019) under Agenda Item: 3 Clustered ID with SR on Disabilities & IE Albinism, delivered by Dr. A. Sudhakara Reddy, Counsellor (Legal),  Permanent Mission of India [05 March 2019, Geneva]

Mr. President,

        We thank both the Special Rapporteur and Independent Expert for their extensive presentations.  Our comments are limited to the report of SR on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

  1. The SR’s report points out that deprivation of liberty of persons with disabilities is a major global human rights concern. Placing a person with disability into an institution, involuntary hospitalisation of a person to a mental health facility, insanity and unsound mind of a person resulting in denial of legal capacity would amount to deprivation of liberty on the basis of impairment.  We agree with the view that the equality before law is the fundamental right of every human being and a necessary precondition for the exercise of all other human rights.
  2. Indian Constitution guarantees the equality before law to all personswithin its territory. Therefore, the right to liberty and security cannot be denied to any person on the basis of prohibited grounds, such as race, sex, age, disability, religion, or any other status. Such deprivations of liberty are discriminatory and, thus, unlawful and arbitrary. However, deprivation of liberty as disability specific cannot be equated with the common form of detention pursuant to the criminal legal system.  
  3. Article 14 of the Convention provides absolute ban on the deprivation of liberty on the basis of impairment. The outright ban on deprivation of liberty as envisaged in the Convention has been given due recognition in our national legislation enacted in 2016.  Chapter II, Section 3 of the said Act explicitly provides that persons with disabilities enjoy the right to equality, life with dignity and respect for integrity. It also prohibits discrimination on the ground of disability and deprivation of personal liberty on the ground of disability.
  1. We take note of the recommendations of SR, suggesting reforms for full implementation of the right to liberty and security of persons with disabilities. While noting the recommendations of the SR, my delegation is of the view that “prohibition of deprivation of liberty and access to justice” are key components to achieve the ‘equality for all’.  This requires proactive measures to eliminate several barriers. India remains committed to eliminating these barriers with a view to promoting the welfare of persons with disabilities.

I thank you Mr. President.

 
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