The Constitution of Nepal, 2072 BS has ensured the right of every person to live with dignity, the right to equality, the right to social justice as fundamental rights. People with disabilities can enjoy these provisions in the same way as other people.
The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2074 defines a ‘person with a disability as a person who is barred from participating in social life in a full and effective manner on the same basis as other persons due to a long-term physical, mental, intellectual, or sensory disability, functional impairment or existing obstruction. For the first time in Nepal, the Act has included ‘psychosocial disability in the classification of disability.
The Disability Rights Act classifies disability into ten types on the basis of its nature as follows:
1. Physical disability
2. Visual impairment
3. Hearing impairment
4. Hearing-visual impairment
5. Voice and speech impairment
6. Mental or psychosocial disability
7. Intellectual disability
9. Autism-related disabilities
10. Multiple disabilities
Psychosocial Disability in Nepal:
According to UNCRPD’s Article No 1; “Persons with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.” Even though mental disability is mentioned in CRPD negotiation, the global disability community use the word “psychosocial disability” instead of mental disability.
Right of Persons with Disability Act 2017 mainstreams mental or psychosocial disability in the cross-disability momentum. But in Nepal, people experienced with mental health and psychosocial issues face social stigma in their lifetime, including being legally restricted in political participation realizing that disability is a barrier rather than impairment.
KOSHISH’s and Psychosocial Disability
KOSHISH believes that Mental health issues are beyond health issues. KOSHISH has been advocating to address various stigmas and challenges faced by persons with mental health or psychosocial disability with respect to their inherent rights and dignity. The actions are aimed at breaking down the existing legal, attitudinal, social, and cultural stigmas with a particular focus on inclusion, empowerment, meaningful participation, and enjoyment of rights of persons with psychosocial disability on an equal basis with others. We hold the stakeholders accountable regarding their commitment to adhere to the UNCRPD and other international human rights instruments.