Public asked to report on non-compliance  of SC order

Access to new public  buildings and facilities

The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka has invited the public to notify them about buildings and places owned by the State or the private sector, constructed after April 27, 2011 which have not provided facilities to enable all to access and use all parts of the building with safety, dignity and ease in daily life, regardless of the degree of their abilities.

A press release issued by the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lankastated that it had initiated action to monitor the situation relating to the implementation of the Supreme Court order SCFR 221 / 2009 issued on April 27, 2011 applicable to all parts of new public buildings, facilities and places, toilets and wash-up areas in particular. It regards accessibility as an inherent human right of prime importance.

The press release further said that this initiative was the result of the discussions the Chairman of HRCSL former Supreme Court Judge Justice Priyantha R. P. Perera had with accessibility activist Dr. Ajith C. S. Perera.

This was a follow-up to a media conference held earlier, and discussions with Dr. Perera which focused on the waste of human potential, unwanted dependency, loss of gainful opportunities and safety hazards to precious lives as a consequence of prolonged violations and non-compliance of standards and regulations at built-up environments that were gazetted on October 17, 2006 by their owners and co-owners and thereby aggravating social and economic issues plaguing the country in untold proportions.

Justice Priyantha Perera further said that an estimated 25 per cent of Sri Lanka’s population experienced ‘restricted abilities’ at different levels, especially to move freely, which includes the growing number of seniors, pregnant mothers, and those with numerous debilitating conditions.

The press release further stressed the fact that the rights of the dis-abled should also be protected under Article 12 of the Constitution, which relates to equality of persons which is also a ‘fundamental right’ protected by the Constitution.

The Chairman mentioned earlier that the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka had a duty to pay special attention to the protection of the right to accessibility of all vulnerable groups of persons and also extended sincere thanks to Dr. Ajith Perera for the invitation extended by him to HRCSL to take all necessary action to safeguard rights of these groups.

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