Protection for Disabled Persons in Afghanistan

By Dimopoulos, Andreas | Forced Migration Review, May 2014 | Go to article overview

Protection for Disabled Persons in Afghanistan


Dimopoulos, Andreas, Forced Migration Review


In 2013, a severely disabled Afghan asylum seeker was returned to Afghanistan from the UK. He had claimed that the lack of adequate social care in Afghanistan for persons with disabilities would be severe enough to constitute inhuman or degrading treatment under Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). However, as Afghanistan has a National Disability Action Plan1 and the applicant has some family in Afghanistan, the Court of the ECHR was not satisfied that a claim of risk of inhuman or degrading treatment could be raised.2

In another recent case - Szilvia Nyusti, Péter Takács and Tamas Fazekas v Hungary3 - the applicants had severe visual impairments. They were unable to use the ATMs of their bank in Afghanistan without assistance and the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities held that lack of accessibility for persons with visual impairments to the bank's ATMs amounted to a failure of the state to comply with its obligations under Article 9 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Committee recommended that Afghanistan create a legislative framework with concrete, enforceable and time-bound benchmarks for monitoring and assessing the gradual modification and adjustment by private financial institutions of previously inaccessible banking services.

A survey conducted by Handicap International in 2005 in Afghanistan indicated that one in five households in Afghanistan included a person with a disability. …

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