LANDMARK RULING: 2% of the people employed by any establishment must be ‘persons with disabilities’, SC decides

The court held that the 2% employment figure must be implemented at every stage or tier of an establishment.

According to a decision by the Supreme Court of Pakistan, the federal and provincial governments have been directed to take steps to recognize equal participation of people with disabilities.

The court’s verdict was in a response to a petition, started by a person who was denied a job as an elementary school teacher in Multan.

Pakistani law requires that around 2% of the people employed by an establishment must be ‘persons with disabilities’. The court held that the 2% employment figure must be implemented at every stage or tier of an establishment.

This decision confirmed the ‘reasonable accommodation’ principle recognized in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, holding that just provision of a job is not enough.

The authorities have also ordered to provide necessary and appropriate adjustments to the infrastructure, technology, and the work environment, etc. to help aid people with disabilities, and allow them to actively participate in the workforce.

Discontinuation of derogatory terms

Previously, the Supreme Court ordered the federal and provincial governments to stop the use of terms like ‘disabled’, ‘mentally retarded’ and ‘physically handicapped’ in all of the official documents. They were asked to use terms like ‘person with different abilities’ or ‘persons with disabilities’ instead.

These decisions by the court can help improve the lives of millions of people. Pakistani authorities now have the duty of not just implementing this decision, but also to reform laws and policies and ensure that they are followed.

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