Disability Human Rights Japan United Nations

U.N. Committee reporting on disability in Japan raises concerns about “insufficient” involvement of disabled people, lack of awareness of the rights of the disabled

A U.N. Committee dealing with the rights of people with disabilities in Japan, on Friday 9th September, expressed its concerns that the involvement people with disabilities was “insufficient” when legislation was passed and public policy was being formed and set.

By Barrier Free Japan

September 16 2022

GENEVA – A U.N. Committee dealing with the rights of people with disabilities in Japan, on Friday 9th September, expressed its concerns that the involvement people with disabilities was “insufficient” when legislation was passed and public policy was being formed and set. The Committee reported their concerns that there was an:

“[i]nsufficient involvement of persons with disabilities through their representative organizations in consultations concerning legislation and public policies, including those carried out by the National Consultative Council of Persons with Disabilities, and the municipal and inter-municipal committees on accessibility”.

The U.N. Committee also relayed concerns about attitudes towards people with disabilities, citing the ‘Sagamihara Stabbings’, when, in 2016, 19 people with disabilities were murdered at a care home. The reported raised concerns about a:

“[l]ack of comprehensive response to the stabbings occurred in 2016 at the Tsukui Yamayuri-en facility, located in Sagamihara, mainly owing to eugenic and ableist mindset in society”.

The U.N. Committee also raised concerns about the lack of awareness about the rights of people with disabilities in Japanese society, particularly by institutions and the people who work in them such as “the judiciary and justice sector professionals, policy- and lawmakers at the national and municipal levels, as well as teachers, medical, health, building design and social workers”.

Japan became a signatory to the U.N. Convention on the Rights for Persons with Disabilities in 2014, and the ‘Act for Eliminating Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities’ in order to comply with U.N. Convention was passed by the Japanese National Government in 2013 and was an active statute from April 1st 2016.    

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