Some 400 million of the world’s 650 million persons with disabilities reside in Asia and the Pacific. Although significant progress has been made in the development of legal and policy instruments on disability in the region, many challenges and obstacles remain. Persons with disabilities have voiced their concern about being disproportionately poor, uneducated and unemployed, and experiencing prejudice, discrimination and a denial of their basic rights. Further, the lack of high quality data and indicators on disability continue to represent a challenge in the region for the formulation of evidence-based policies. Many Governments and other stakeholders report that the lack of financial and human resources, as well as technical knowledge and capacities hinder the implementation of the Biwako Millennium Framework, a regional policy guideline on disability.
As the culmination of the Second Asian and Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons (2003-2012) approaches, ESCAP will build on the catalytic role it has been playing over the past decades in promoting the rights of persons with disabilities and challenging norms and negative mindsets prevailing in the region. The recently adopted Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), a landmark human rights treaty on disability as well as the Biwako Millennium Framework for Action provide the conceptual basis for the work of ESCAP. In close collaboration with partners, particularly organizations of persons with disabilities, ESCAP works towards achieving an inclusive, barrier-free and a rights-based society, focusing on:
Disability Central is a dynamic database designed to support knowledge-building on disability policy in Asia and the Pacific. It provides a comprehensive gateway to detailed information on disability statistics, definition, legislation, policies and practices for policy makers, researchers, persons with disabilities and other stakeholders. Disability Central compiles disability information on 58 Asia Pacific countries.