Mobilizing District Committee Members
8. Become a district committee member
The Persons with Disabilities Rights and Protection Act, 2013 (DRPA) requires every committee to include two representatives of either DPOs or other non-DPO civil society organizations working on disability rights issues. The Deputy Commissioner is authorized by law to select these two committee members. The Deputy Commissioner is not required to select only persons with disabilities. Indeed, in practice Deputy Commissioners sometimes select the directors of prominent non-governmental schools for children with disabilities or disability welfare organizations instead of DPO representatives.
Several of the DPO leaders who contributed to USAID’s EPD program had successfully advocated to be named DRPA district committee members. As committee members, they were entitled to participate in their district committee’s required meetings and to obtain minutes of these meetings. Because the DRPA does not require district committees to advertise planned meeting dates or to publish minutes of their proceedings, DPOs whose representatives are not named committee members face additional challenges to monitoring district committees’ activities and advocating for members to fulfill their duties. Therefore, DPOs should advocate with the Deputy Commissioner to be named as committee members.
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This domain was previously home to a joint report by NGDO, NCDW, and BLAST entitled “Current Status of Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Bangladesh: Legal and Grassroots Perspectives 2015,” produced with funding from the Disability Rights Fund. It is now available here.