Adopt African protocol on disability, govt told

By Victoria Nampala

The protocol will help address exclusion, harmful practices and discrimination of PWDs.

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PIC: Delegates who attended the conference on promotion of rights of PWDs


The Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development has been urged to adopt the African protocol on disability in order to ensure that Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) enjoy their rights.

The protocol was drafted by The African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR) on the rights of persons with disabilities, intended to complement the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights and address continued exclusion, harmful practices, and discrimination affecting those with disabilities, especially women, children, and the elderly

This was on 12th October 2017 at the Nob View Hotel in Ntinda, during the promotion of the African Disability Protocol meeting. The event  was attended by delegates from South Africa, Tanzania, South Sudan and Burundi.

According to Africa Disability Alliance director, Thamsanqa Ncube, the protocol is intended to complement the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights and address continued exclusion, harmful practices and discrimination of PWDs.

He also disclosed that the protocol recognises the particular vulnerabilities and rights of women, children, youth, and older persons with disabilities.

The gender ministry is required to select representatives who will meet with the expected signatories to the protocol at the AU offices in Addis Ababa to sign the agreement.

After Uganda agrees and signs to the protocol, it would be required to advance the rights of the PWD's that were left out by United Nations convention on the rights of persons with disability (CRPD).

"If all our countries domesticated the protocol, it would guarantee equal protection of economic, social, cultural, civil, and political rights of individuals with physical, mental, intellectual and developmental or sensory impairments and would implement affirmative actions to advance their equality," Ncube added.

He revealed that albinism is an example of such groups whose rights are not fully explored in the CRPD.  "Apart from the right to life, the albinism feature will be taken well into account".

"Africans cannot develop if millions of disabled people are left behind; the law would permit for a platform where rights of teh disabled are taken on board in the African Union," the vice chairperson of Equal Opportunities committee in Parliament, Hellen Asamo, noted.

Asamo said the legislators representing people with disabilities must ensure that all the laws that government comes with are able to draw issues of disability, citing an example the Building Control and Communication Act, which has people of disability represented.

"The Ministry of Works is working out a regulation that will be able to give to engineers and owners of places to make sure the implementation of the Building Act is put in place for all public buildings," she revealed.

She revealed that Uganda Disability Act 2006 is under review because Parliament wants to align it with the prevention of rights of people with disabilities.

"The Minister of Gender is already working on the document that is going to bring a new law that will be inclusive of all PWDs. The law will be out before the next parliament convenes," Asamo disclosed.

The Commissioner for Disability and Elderly, Sam Wekesa Masaba, welcomed the idea of adoption of the protocol.