Annual Interactive Debate on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, delivered by Dr. A. Sudhakara Reddy, Counsellor (Legal), Permanent Mission of India [06 March 2019, Geneva]


Statement by India at the 40th Session of the Human Rights Council (25 February – 22 March 2019) under Annual Interactive Debate on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, delivered by Dr. A. Sudhakara Reddy, Counsellor (Legal),  Permanent Mission of India [06 March 2019, Geneva]

Mr. President,

At the outset, we thank all the panellists for their extensive and useful presentations on this important theme.

2. My delegation welcomes the report of the High Commissioner containing the guidance, based on human rights approach, to specific aspects such as ‘habilitation and rehabilitation’ in respect of the rights of persons with disabilities under Article 26 of the CRPD. As provided in the Convention, ‘habilitation and rehabilitation’ would mean that States shall ensure persons with disabilities to attain maximum independence, full physical, mental, social and vocational ability and full inclusion and participation in all aspects of life”.

3. While implementing the Convention, India refers to ‘rehabilitation’ as a process aimed at enabling persons with disabilities to maintain optimal physical, sensory, intellectual, psychological, environmental or social function levels in its national legislation enacted in 2016. Similarly Section V, paragraph 27 of the said Act explicitly provides that the Government and the local authorities shall undertake rehabilitation services particularly in the areas of health, education and employment for all persons with disabilities. While doing so, the Government and local authorities shall consult the civil society working for the cause of persons with disabilities.

4. We understand that the concept of habilitation and rehabilitation are evolving concepts and are interrelated with various other factors having strong linkages to social and economic progress of the State concerned and conditions of the environment that would support the much needed services. A multidisciplinary assessment of individual needs and strengths are essential for full implementation of the conventional obligations that are affecting daily living of the persons with disabilities.

5. We take note of the recommendation for a legislative framework for the establishment of an organisation to deliver comprehensive, coordinated and inclusive services that would address the habilitation and rehabilitationamenities. My delegation is of the view that habilitation and rehabilitation services are key components to achieve the ‘equality for all’. This necessitates 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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