We all believe that Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights are fundamental HUMAN RIGHTS. So does, Nepal. However, a new bill to protect the rights of people living with disabilities had ignored the reproductive health rights of women living with disabilities. Does this mean women living with disabilities are not HUMAN??
Rights of the people living with disabilities 2072 Bill, which has tabled in the Cabinet for discussion, briefly touches upon the reproductive right but is silent on reproductive health rights. The laws have always respected the rights of women in Nepal. For example, Nepal legalized abortion in 2002 allowing women to terminate pregnancies of up to 12 weeks on the consent of women. However, the policy makers in Nepal are insensitive. The recent decision had proved this where the constitution which has always enshrined the reproductive health rights of all Nepali women, this time ignored the reproductive health rights of women living with disabilities to have the right to their own body.
There is always a myth related to sexual rights of people living with disabilities. Women and girls with disability often face violence, discrimination and prejudice that affects their sexual and reproductive rights. These attitudes and practices, which pervade many of our communities and institutions, result in multiple and extreme abuses of the sexual and reproductive rights of women and girls with disability, including through state-sanctioned violence including forced sterilization, forced abortion, and forced contraception. These very severe and cruel forms of sexual violence – perpetrated largely against women and girls with disability, and which qualify as torture or inhuman treatment, have no place in our world.
The sexual and reproductive rights of all people, including women and girls with disability, are contained in many human rights instruments, including the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Nepal had even signed the CEDAW with promise to protect SRH rights of all human including people living with disabilities.
After a country formally agrees to a UN convention, they have a legal obligation to respect, protect, and fulfill the rights set out in the particular Convention.
RESPECT: Governments must not deprive people of a right or interfere with people exercising their rights. For example, governments must not perform medical treatments on people with disability without their consent, or exclude a child from school on the basis of disability.
PROTECT: Governments must prevent ‘third parties’ (such as police) from abusing the human rights of others. For example, governments must protect people with disability from violence and abuse in institutions.
FULFILL: Governments must take positive steps to make sure people can enjoy their human rights. For example, governments must make or change laws and policies so that people with disability can enjoy their human rights the same as everyone else.
I wonder if there is any treaty committee which plays a role of watchdog in respective countries which implement the particular treaty to which they have formally agreed. The violation of the agreed treaty should have a form of penalty for ignoring any relevant agreement in the treaty. The so called WATCHDOG committee should make sure the respective countries follows all the required details to implement agreed treaty in the country.
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