Moving from the margins: Mainstreaming persons with disabilities in Pakistan

The purpose of this report was to enable better understanding of the experiences and needs of persons with disabilities in Pakistan, and to offer suggestions for mainstreaming people with disabilities. The country could have as many as 27 million people with disabilities, and a lack of engagement and inclusion of these people could be costing the economy between 4.9% and 6.3% of GDP each year. The report draws on 60 interviews with experts in Pakistan and around the world. Ultimately, the report found that Pakistan needs to move away from a culture and sympathy, that negative attitudes in society make it difficult to find a life partner, that the legal framework to protect people with disabilities is weak, that little action has been taken to align Pakistan’s policies and strategies with international ones, that education for people with disabilities in limited, that people with intellectual abilities are often completely ignored in the policy process and that there are limited employment opportunities for peoples with disabilities. Based on these findings, the report makes some recommendations.