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DPO Advocacy Handbook

This booklet provides a capsule summary of the most important sections of the Persons with Disabilities Rights and Protection Act, 2013 in a small, easy-to-carry publication. It describes how what disabilities are covered by the Act, how to obtain disability identification cards, the enumerated rights recognized by the Act, the five committees created by the Act, and the process for filing applications for compensation for violations of the enumerated rights under Section 36 of the Act.

Chapter description

Chapter 1 describes DPOs’ role in the history of the development of disability rights law both in Bangladesh and around the world, including an explanation of how Bangladesh’s ratification of the United Nations CRPD gave rise to DPO-led demands for rights-based legislation in Bangladesh.

Chapter 2 answers basic questions that DPOs may have about the purpose of legal advocacy and the importance of DPOs continuing to advocate for the effective implementation of international and national laws they have fought hard to pass.

Chapter 3 provides an overview of the types of disabilities covered under the Act as well as explanations of how to register persons with disabilities for disability identification cards.

Chapter 4, the heart of the handbook, discusses each of the enumerated rights under Section 16 in the order in which they are presented in the Act, for ease of reference. The DPO Advocacy Handbook refers to the content of the CRPD and the Bangladesh Constitution in order to define the contours of each right in easily understandable terms.

Chapter 5 outlines the committee framework for monitoring and coordinating the Act’s implementation and analyzes their composition, powers, and functions with observations about how lawyers can use these structures to advocate for clients with disabilities. Crucially, it provides novel and detailed guidance on the new administrative complaints and appeals procedure by which persons with disabilities can apply for compensation before district-level committees pursuant to Section 36.

Chapter 6 analyzes the new discrimination-related criminal charges recognized under Section 37, including the corresponding punishments.

Chapter 7 contains guidance on how DPOs can use other mechanisms such as access to information requests under the Right to Information Act and the National Human Rights Commission to ensure that the committees established by the Persons with Disabilities Rights and Protection Act, 2013 work effectively.

Chapter 8 provides real-world guidance for DPOs on how to manage their organizations effectively and provide assistance to persons with disabilities to take legal action to assert their rights.

Chapter 9 provides further practical guidance to DPOs on how to collaborate with other public and private entities to strengthen their advocacy activities.

Chapter 10 provides a series of case studies from around the world about successful DPO-led advocacy initiatives, so as to inspire similar strategic advocacy activities among Bangladeshi DPOs.

Finally, the DPO Advocacy Handbook contains several annexes that provide DPOs with ready access to the full text of the Persons with Disabilities Rights and Protection Act, 2013 and its 2015 regulations, as well as forms that DPOs need to help persons with disabilities apply for disability identification cards and for compensation under Section 36, among other practical documents.

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Additional Links: USAID Bangladesh • BlueLaw International

This website is made possible with the support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under Cooperative Agreement No. AID-388-A-17-00005. The contents are the sole responsibility of BlueLaw International and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of USAID or the U.S. Government.

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.