JSW Law-UNDP’s host legal awareness programme for PWDs in Trashigang

To create awareness about the legal procedures and assistance to avail justice for persons with disabilities (PWDs), a daylong awareness programme was conducted at Draktsho’s eastern centre in Trashigang. More than 100 students with disabilities attended the programme including those studying in Muenselling Institute at Khaling.

These students of Jigme Singye Wangchuck School of Law perform an enactment in front of students with disabilities, trying to educate them about the legal proceedings and assistance available as mentioned in the advocacy toolkit.

The Advocacy Toolkit on Legal Proceedings for Persons with Disabilities is a booklet to guide and provide legal information to persons with disabilities or any individual and agencies concerning them in accessing justice during legal proceedings.

During the session, for students with hearing impairment, an instructor uses sign language to act out the enactment.

The United Nations Development Programme, in partnership with Jigme Singye Wangchuck School of Law, is organising the programme for the first time in eastern Bhutan. The organisers said that besides physical challenges, lack of basic information to avail themselves of legal services leaves the persons with disabilities unable to access justice.

“We have collected a lot of human stories, we have met a lot of stakeholders, and we have come to know that the people with disabilities are not aware of laws, and are mostly lockup at homes, unaware of laws. Even if they are victimised of domestic violence and abuses, they don’t know the right mechanism, to whom to report or carry forward with their support systems, so this is one of the reasons that we are trying to advocate,” said Phurpa Wangchuk, Governance Associate of UNDP.

“In case a person with disabilities needs to go to court, we can send a Jabmi on behalf of us. Moreover, I came to know today that there is a centre that supports persons with disabilities in availing justice,” said Tenzin Wangchuk, a student at Draktsho East.

“I had some knowledge about laws concerning persons with disabilities but through the awareness programme, I have learned much more. As an instructor here and being a disabled person myself working for other persons with disabilities, I will be able to share my knowledge with them,” said Kunzang, Draktsho East’s instructor.

A similar programme was also conducted at Muenselling Institute in Khaling yesterday.

The team will also conduct sensitisation workshops on people-centric approach to justice for six eastern district court officials within this week.

Sonam Darjay, Trashigang

Edited by Kipchu 

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