Is &#x2018;legal empowerment of the poor&#x2019; relevant to people with disabilities in developing countries? An empirical and normative review
Public aspects of medicine
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AbstractBackground: Legal empowerment of the poor is highly relevant to public health as it aims to relieve income poverty, a main determinant of health. The Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor (CLEP) has proposed legal empowerment measures in the following four domains: access to justice and the rule of law, property, labor, and business rights. Despite being overrepresented among the poor, CLEP has not explicitly considered the situation of people with disabilities. Objectives: To examine the empirical evidence for the relevance of the CLEP legal empowerment measures to people with disabilities in low- and lower middle-income countries, and to evaluate the extent to which the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) addresses those measures. Methods: Critical literature review of empirical studies and a checklist assessment of the CRPD. Results: Fourteen included articles confirm that people with disabilities experience problems in the domains of access to justice and the rule of law, labor rights, and business rights. No texts on property rights were found. Evidence for the effectiveness of the proposed measures is insufficient. Overall, the CRPD fully or partially supports two-thirds of the proposed measures (seven out of nine measures for access to justice and the rule of law, none of the five measures for property rights, all seven measures for labor rights, and six out of nine measures for business rights). Conclusions: Although most of the domains of the CLEP legal empowerment measures are relevant to people with disabilities from both empirical and normative perspectives, it is uncertain whether the devised measures are of immediate relevance to them. Further research is warranted in this regard.