Bangladesh signed and ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2007 and passed the Rights and Protection of Persons with Disabilities Act in 2013. Despite this, poverty and disability remain inextricably linked in Bangladesh.
How are we helping
We are supporting Access Bangladesh to ensure that persons with disabilities can access government services and participate in community decision making.
About the project
Despite commendable state efforts to improve policy framework, persons with disabilities in Bangladesh still face challenges. These inequalities are amplified for women with disabilities who experience greater difficulty in accessing adequate health, education and employment opportunities, as compared to their male counterparts.
This project aims to crystallise the government’s commitments by building on the advocacy capacities of people with disabilities including indigenous people with disabilities to ensure their participation in community decision making process and systematic inclusion in the government services.
This will be done by organising self-help groups in 20 union parishads (local constituencies) that are spread across four districts in Bangladesh. This will include building their capacity to conduct public hearings and arrange community score cards on education, health and social protection programmes, training on leadership, advocacy, legal frameworks, planning and service delivery processes; and ensures their representation in the standing committees at union parishad level. It will raise public awareness of disability rights, train local service providers and engage with relevant ministries on the launch and implementation of the National Action Plan on Disability.
It is expected that by the end of the project, the self-help groups will be better integrated into planning processes and that government officials will have mainstreamed disability concerns plans, budget and programmes. It is hoped that the project will serve as a model for replication in other union parishads of the country.
Access Bangladesh Foundation (AFB), founded in 2008, is a leading Disabled People Organisation and has a strong track record of working in empowering persons with disabilities through community based approaches at the grass roots level. AFB also has experience in monitoring budgetary measures and government policies. Notably, the Ministry of Social Welfare asked them to develop the second draft of the 2013 Act.
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