Full CRPD Compliance on the inclusion of persons with psychosocial disabilities
1. Our full and effective inclusion in national laws and policies.
Nepal has a new disability legislation for people with disability: Disability Right Act 2017. A focal person for persons with disabilities exists now in Nepal at all levels, from local to central. There is a disability card system and government provides basic social security. Current new law is not CRPD compliant.
The positive aspects of the law include, seat reservation for persons with disabilities in the constitution of Nepal Government; social security; free education; and access to justice.
2. Our right to live independently and be included in communities.
Mental health is not fully integrated into Development services, or disability inclusion.
There is one government hospital. It has an open door policy and is not considered by our movement as a ‘mental asylum’. Because, luckily, there is no mental health law. Nepal was never colonized by any country, so we don’t have pre-human rights laws. The Hospital has 50 beds. There are also some private hospitals. There is no practice of consent. Degrading inhuman treatment exists. It is widespread news that families drop relatives who are in distress or disturbance, across the border, in India. People are also incarcerated in Indian asylums. High stigma exists. There is misconception and discrimination for any kind of disability, not just psychosocial disability.
3. Full CRPD Compliance in disability legislation.
Current legal frameworks for persons with psychosocial disabilities is not in compliance with CRPD. It focuses on institutionalization and the medical model. In the Disability legislation, there is no mention of full legal capacity. The law provides for institutionalization. There is no provision for living independently or for community living. The law does not prohibit substituted decision making. Luckily, because Nepal does not have any legal history of from colonialism, there is no Guardianship law.
4. Public financing for Inclusion:
Nepal government has allocated a tiny budget for persons with psychosocial disability. There is not enough budget to deal with the current situation of persons with psychosocial disability, especially extensive community living programs needed and social care. There are no programs for easing the lives of persons with psychosocial disabilities within Development.
5. Community Empowerment for care sharing:
Nepal has support systems and social systems in general; and also, for persons with psychosocial disabilities. But it is never enough. Despite the stigma and violence which continues it is still an important part of community. Support systems include,
· Family: Family is a key support system of person with psychosocial disability. Nepali society has great value for the family. Most of the families are intergrated. Member of family do stand for person with psychosocial disability. But they need empowerment.
· Relatives: Relatives are also important support system of person with psychosocial disability in nepali society. It has great sense of belongingness to each other.
· Neighbours: Neighbours are also a part of community, who do support person with psychosocial disabilities.
· Peers: Through peers, social support groups, self help and other development linked groups, an individual can empower themselves and overcome the problems. It also exists in Nepali society.
6. To continue traditional healing practices that are CRPD compliant and serving communities:
Nepal is full of alternative methods for healing of psychosocial problems, since many years peoples practice these methods of traditional healing process.
Yoga : It is kind of traditional healing method for person with psychosocial disability. It is as old as human civilization. It helps to balance the mental process and body exercise.
Meditation: It is also another healing method for person with psychosocial disability. It helps the mind concentrate. It helps to find ourselves and gives energy to fight the problems.
Mantra: It is big practics in Nepal. Most of the people believe in this kind of healing method. Traditional healer chant the mantra and It relieves problem of psychosocial disability.
Other than this, Nepal also has influences from other countries nearby, including India, China, Tibet, etc. in terms of Tibetan healing, Himalayan herbal healing, and other Asian healing traditions.
We have good linkage with the cross disability movement. WGDR is doing advocacy in local level and also doing awareness raising program for persons with psychosocial disabilities. However, huge gaps remain, in awareness, advocacy, and to build our community with a common voice.
(Prepared for TCI Asia Pacific, Bali Plenary August 2018)
Women’s Group For Disability Rights, Nepal
Susmeera Aryal (extreme left)