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Indian J Psychol Med. 2019 Mar-Apr;41(2):119-125. doi: 10.4103/IJPSYM.IJPSYM_364_18.

The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016: Mental Health Implications.

Author information

1
Department of Epidemiology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, Karnataka, India.
2
Department of Psychiatry, North Western Mental Health, Parkville, Melbourne, Australia.
3
Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, Karnataka, India.

Abstract

India's ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) necessitated the need for a rights-based, biopsychosocial model of disability, which was endorsed in the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPwD) Act, 2016. This article examines the Act, its rules, and guidelines provided by the Government of India, from a mental health perspective, and compares it to its predecessor, the Persons with Disabilities (PwD) Act, 1995. The RPwD Act provides clearer definitions of various constructs, a greater focus on rights of PwD, and guidelines for assessment and certification of disabilities. There is, however, an underemphasis on mental illnesses in the reservation and legal decision making, and a move toward centralizing the process of disability certification. Also, there is a lack of clarity about screening instruments to be used, resource allocation to implement the provisions, and the guidelines for inclusive education. This article suggests recommendations that could strengthen some of these provisions.

KEYWORDS:

Disability; India; RPwD; mental illness; rights

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