Empowering People with Disabilities - A Comparative Study of Disability Legislation

Wed, 17 Jun 2015 07:29 AM
Author: Thomson Reuters Foundation, Vidya Sagar, Linklaters
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People with disabilities constitute the world’s largest minority group. More than one billion people live with some form of disability. Disability disproportionately affects vulnerable populations: roughly eighty percent of people with disabilities live in developing countries, where the poor, women, and older people suffer a higher prevalence of disability. Statistics show a steady increase in these numbers.  Across the world, people with disabilities remain vulnerable to violence and face barriers to accessing justice, education, healthcare and employment.

A significant obstacle to real progress in the disability sector is the weakness of domestic legislation for the protection and empowerment of people with disabilities. Studies on disability legislation show that less than 50 countries have anti-discrimination and other disability-specific laws.

This guide offers a comparative analysis of the laws governing disability and the implementation of the UNCRPD in eleven countries spanning five continents. This guide makes a notable contribution to our understanding of how different countries interpret and apply ‘legal capacity’ of people with disabilities, and it highlights best practices that can guide advocacy efforts for legal reform.

We hope this guide will become an invaluable tool to support advocates, policy-makers, legislators, and practitioners in their efforts to improve the laws and policies of the disability sector.


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