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Peruvian Congress approves disability law

Some people with banners and candles in front a church
Vigil in favor of approbation of General law of people with disability by Peruvian Congress. This law is based on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

On 6 December 2012 the Peruvian Congress approved a new disability law in line with the UN Convention of the Rights of People with Disability. This was lobbied for by the Peruvian CBR consortium and organisations of people with disabilities (DPOs), whose activities in empowerment and defence of rights are supported by CBM.

A milestone for the disability movement

The CBR consortium of Peru - a group of four organisations working in the departments of Cuzco, San Martin and the municipality of Lima, mostly financed by CBM and with a specific budget from the Dutch Embassy in Peru - was crucial in the process making this possible.

The consortium and DPO partners realised that in the absence of a good national disability law it would be impossible to effectively lobby and bring about real change in the lives of people with disability. For this reason a few years ago, it got involved in the advocacy efforts to get a new disability law approved through a civil society initiative.

To do it, the consortium together with other NGOs and DPOs gathered 130,000 signatures (57.000 were required!) to be able to introduce the new disability law into the Peruvian Congress. They led social actions to gather momentum for change through the use of social media, sit-ins and other means.  CEMPDIS, a CBM partner and part of the consortium was very active in these actions.

An essential step for the law to be introduced into Congress was the validation of signatures by the National Office for Elections. The CBR consortium financed this process and after that, it lobbied in Congress to get the respective commission to revise the law and to consult with the relevant institutions in the public sector.

The last step

A lot of people in a big room ©CBM
Silvia Carrasco (Director of CEMPDIS) advocating for the approbation of the General law of people with disabilities, without the observations of the President of Peru in the Congress
When all of this was done, the Peruvian Congress took the last step and in June 2012 it approved this very progressive disability law.

However, the president of Peru had several observations and sent the law back to the commission for revision. Civil society lobbied with the commission on not changing anything. The commission accepted this advice and the Peruvian congress again and now definitely voted on December 2012 in favour of this law. 

Some examples of why this law is a great instrument for persons with disability:

  • People with disabilities are entitled to integral rehabilitation in their community
  • People with disabilities have the right to inclusive education
  • 5% of labour force in the public sector and 3% in the private sector should be persons with disability
  • Any vacancy left by a person with disability need to be covered by another person with a disability
  • All transport units have the obligation to be accessible
  • In congressional elections, political parties, electoral alliances and independent movements, have to include at least 10% of persons with disabilities
  • In developing its Participatory Budget, the Regional and Local Governments need to prioritise projects and initiatives presented by persons with disabilities
The CBR consortium is part of a civil society network that is committed to monitor the full implementation of this law. It demonstrated that ‘together we can do more’ and it has shown the power of participatory action by civil society.

The initiative was successful through strong partnerships, people with disabilities being at the heart of the action, as well as the strong conviction that the local implementation of the CRPD is possible.

CBM is presently looking for continuation of funding for the CBR consortium to strengthen the momentum of the disability movement in Peru.

More reading

United Nations CRPD

The purpose of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is to promote, defend and reinforce the human rights of all persons with disabilities



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