People with intellectual disabilities have faced discrimination, alienation and stigma for a very long time. History around the world is full of horrid episodes where the intellectual disabled have faced the worst treatments. Though some positive strides have been made in respect to their the rights, even today they face a myriad of challenges and are yet to fully access and exploit opportunities in the society. It is important to note that people with intellectual disability are also human, thus they are entitled to all human rights without any discrimination. They are the most marginalized people in the society and are excluded from social, cultural, educational and economic opportunities. (Nora, E., 2004). This paper looks into the issues of human rights for the intellectually disabled persons, the challenges that they face and how their human rights can be enhanced.
Human rights are individual inherent entitlements or basic freedoms regardless of one’s country of origin, where one lives, his/her sex, color complexion, religious affiliation, language inclination, or any other known status. All human beings are equally entitled to human rights by birth without any discrimination. These rights are inter-related, inter-dependent and cannot be divided. (Cited in United Nations). At childhood the intellectually disabled are discriminated against by people and most people are not comfortable in talking to them. This makes them feel isolated as no one seems to understand them. They do not have access to mainstream services such as schooling and those that are lucky receive education at segregated and isolated classes and or schools.( Cited in Association of Self advocacy & Association of Promoting Inclusion, 2007)
At adolescent the intellectually disabled face discrimination and ridicule from their peers. During adolescent they experience both physical and emotional changes but nobody is there to help them understand what is happening to them. They are not allowed to participate in activities within the society along with other members of the society. The intellectually disabled adults and the ageing have limited opportunities or non in the open labor market. Most employers do not offer them equal opportunities to work and thus most end up dying very poor and with no hope. Due to lack of proper legistration and policies most intellectually disabled adults and ageing cannot realize basic human rights such as voting and marriage. Their human rights are violated and at time many people avoid associating with them. They lack people who can help them and are left at the care of well wishers and welfare organizations. Family members at times disown them and argue that they are insane. This in turn makes them feel isolated and neglected.
As stated earlier in this paper, it is good that we appreciate that there has been some positive developments towards enhancing the rights of the intellectually disabled. The...