Sri Lanka launches the World Report on Disability
On 30 May 2012 the World report on disability was launched in Sri Lanka in the presence of the Minister of Social Welfare, the Honourable Felix Perera, and the deputy Minister of Health Mr Lalith Dissanayake. The launch, which was attended by over 200 people, was followed by an intensive discussion of Sri Lanka’s draft National Action Plan on Disability. Working groups brought together different stakeholders - including representatives from different Government Ministries, agencies of the United Nations, international and Sri Lankan non-government organizations, disabled people’s organizations, and professionals to address core areas for development- including the empowerment of people with disabilities, health, rehabilitation, education, employment, social engagement, mainstreaming and enabling environments. The discussions fostered fresh ideas for actions and enabled these to be prioritized.
The National Action Plan is being revised based on the outcomes of the meeting and in collaboration with a working group comprising officials from the Social Services and Health Ministries, the World Health Organization and the Disability Organizations Joint Front. The final draft, which will be widely circulated for feedback, will be presented to the National Council on Disability and if approved, submitted to the Cabinet for final approval.
The National Action plan is in line with the World report on disability and the Sri Lankan National Disability Policy, which was agreed in 2003. Sri Lanka signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in 2007 and is working towards ratification.