HRCSL Discussion with Transportation Authorities Aimed at Improving Accessibility of Persons with Disabilities
The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) held a meeting at the initiative of the Commissioners Prof. Fathima Haniffa and Mr. Nimal Punchihewa to review the existing barriers in public transportation that limit the independent movement of people with disabilities. This meeting was held on October 27, 2023, at the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka with the participation of members representing the relevant authorities in transportation in Sri Lanka such as the Ministry of Transport and Highways, Sri Lanka Transport Board, Sri Lanka Railways, National Transport Commission and representatives from Disability Organizations Joint Front of Sri Lanka.
The discussion revolved around the firsthand experiences shared when using public transportation by the participants with disabilities particularly in getting to a stop, boarding and travelling off due to lack of accessibility. It was further pointed out that facilitated access and greater mobility shall be fully taken into account when planning, designing and implementing transport policies. For that purpose, they put forward proposals which standardize the level of accessibility and eliminate the existing barriers.
Finally, the participants from the relevant authorities approved the proposals put forth by individuals with disabilities assuring their cooperation in comprehensive public transportation which ensures the required facilities for the persons with disabilities and those of all citizens in Sri Lanka.