Government Action on Disability Policy
A Global Survey
Part II - Government Replies as Country Profiles

Pakistan

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© Dimitris Michailakis 1997

Transmitted by Permanent Mission to the United Nations, New York (15 May 1996)
General policy

The officially recognized disability policy in Pakistan is expressed in guidelines adopted by the Government and in policy adopted by NGOs. The emphasis - in descending scale - is on prevention, accessibility measures, rehabilitation, individual support, anti-discrimination law.

Since the adoption of the Rules the Government has conveyed the message of full participation through information campaigns.

Legislation

The rights of persons with disabilities are protected by special legislation. There is no judicial mechanism to protect the rights of persons with disabilities. Non-judicial bodies include a Governmental body (administrative).

The general legislation applies to persons with disabilities with respect to employment only. The following benefits are guaranteed by law to persons with disabilities: training, rehabilitation and counselling, employment.

No new legislation concerning disability has been enacted since the adoption of the Rules.

Accessibility

There are guidelines ensuring accessibility of the build environment requiring that schools, hospitals, rehabilitation centres, the outdoor environment, land, sea, air transportation are made accessible. Accessibility in the build environment is observed by a national authority and local Governments. The following measures have been promoted to facilitate accessibility in the build environment: levelling off pavements, installing lifts and accessible toilets, ensuring access to public places, provision of specially adapted motor vehicles. Special transport is available for the purpose of education only. When planning to build accessible environments the most difficult obstacles are: economic/budgetary factors, lack of legislation and regulations, lack of enforcement mechanism. There is no disability awareness component incorporated in the training of planners, architects and construction engineers.

Sign language for deaf people is recognized as the main means of communication between deaf persons and others. There are Government measures for encouraging media and other forms of public information to make their services accessible to persons with disabilities. The following measures are provided in order to facilitate information and communication between persons with disabilities and others: literature in Braille/tape, news magazines on tape/Braille, sign language interpretation, available only for major events.

Organizations of persons with disabilities

There is a national umbrella organization where all organizations of persons with disabilities are represented. There are no legal provisions mandating the representatives of persons with disabilities to participate in policy-making or to work with Governmental institutions. Organizations are always consulted when laws and regulations with a disability aspect are being prepared. Consultations take place at the national level. The Government financially supports existing or new organizations. Persons with disabilities participate to a very limited extent in Government, legislature, judicial authorities and NGOs. The organizations have the role to identify needs and priorities, and contribute to public awareness.

Co-ordination of work

There is a national co-ordinating committee reporting to the Prime Minister's office. The committee includes representatives of the Ministries of Finance, Justice, Health and Social Affairs, Employment, Planning, and from organizations of persons with disabilities. The committee is expected to participate in policy development and to perform other tasks. The establishment of the co-ordinating committee has had the following effects: improved legislation, improved integration of responsibility, a better dialogue in the disability field, more accurate planning and more effective use of resources.



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