RESOURCES

Disability Profile Asia Pacific 2006 UNESCAP


Disability Profile Asia Pacific 2006 UNESCAP

Disability at a Glance: a Profile of 28 Countries and Areas in Asia and the Pacific

The Asian and Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons (2003-2012) started with the premise of promoting a paradigm shift from a welfare-based to a rights-based approach towards disability. Its regional policy guideline, the “Biwako Millennium Framework for Action towards an Inclusive, Barrier-free and Rights-based Society for Persons with Disabilities in Asia and the Pacific (BMF)” reflects this shift and provides a set of overarching principles and directions with seven priority and four strategic areas. These principles include the importance of establishing rights-based policies/legislation, mainstreaming disability perspectives in sectoral laws and policies as well as having disability-specific laws and policies in place, strengthening of the national coordination mechanism, and the strengthening of national capacity in data collection and analysis of disability statistics.

One of the four strategic areas of the BMF, entitled “Disability statistics/common definition of disabilities for planning” points out a number of critical issues and proposes development of the national system of disability-related data collection and analysis, and the establishment of a definition of disability, which would enable internationally comparable analysis. The concern about the absence of appropriate data on disability has been raised repeatedly in a series of regional forums on the topic held thereafter.

To address the issues and to examine the extent of the national level commitment to the BMF principles and directions, in 2004, ESCAP conducted a survey on its implementation. The questionnaire was distributed to disability focal points in Governments and NGOs active in the field in the region. Thus far, 28 Governments and 18 NGOs responded to the survey, and the quantitative analysis of the responses was included in a paper, “ Review of National Progress in the Implementation of Targets and Strategies of the Biwako Millennium Framework for Action towards an Inclusive, Barrier-free and Rights-based Society for Persons with Disabilities in Asia and the Pacific (BMF) 2004” presented at the Regional Workshop on Monitoring the Implementation of the Biwako Millennium Framework for Action towards an Inclusive, Barrier-free and Rights-based Society for Persons with Disabilities in Asia and the Pacific (BMF), held from 13 to 15 October 2004.

The current publication, “Disability at a Glance: the Profile of 28 Countries in Asia and the Pacific” builds on the wealth of information obtained from the responses. It aims to provide disability-related data and policy-related information so that readers are able to see in detail how a particular country or area defines disability and collects related statistics, and implements the BMF, in particular, with regard to the establishment of a relevant institutional framework and policies.