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UN CRPD committee of experts  faults ugandan government due to continued

  • Discrimination,

  • Exclusion,

  • and grave human rights abuse

Persons with disabilities in Uganda continue to suffer grave human rights abuse despite existence of exquisite legal and policy framework, Dr Uchenma Emelonye, a Country Representative of the United Nations office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Uganda, says.

Dr Emelonye made this observation on June 15, 2016 at a meeting held at Imperial Royale Hotel, in Kampala.  The event was jointly organised by National Union of disabled persons of Uganda (NUDIPU) in partnership with Uganda Human Rights Commission to disseminate the UN Committee of experts concluding observations on the rights of PWDs.

The UN is concerned that although Uganda has very sound legal frameworks, their implementation remains a huge challenge. This is however not peculiar to Uganda, but nearly all African countries experience the same scenario.

“There are still challenges in the enjoyment of rights of PWDs in Uganda. The laws exist but implementation is still challenging,” Dr Emelonye said, adding that majority of PWDs in Uganda continue to suffer discrimination, exclusion, sexual violence against women and children, and experience serious challenges while accessing justice.

The UN CRPD committee of experts in April 2016 reviewed Uganda’s progress report on the implementation of the CRPD, eight years after ratifying it in 2008.  However, the committee faults government on a number of areas.

For instance, the committee noted varying definitions of disability as contained in the current laws and policies, delayed enactment of the PWDs Act 2014, non-consultation of PWDs and their organisations while enacting laws, failure to protect children with disabilities, limited access to information, inaccessible transport system, violation of right to life, and access to justice among others as issues that need immediate government action.  

The CRPD committee therefore, recommends that Ugandan government reviews of the laws related to disability,  establishes mechanisms of consulting PWDs and their organisations on budget allocations, incorporates the concept of reasonable accommodation in the legal systems, establishes measures to tackle discrimination against women with disabilities, increases awareness on the rights and dignity of PWDs, and raises awareness among members of parliament, executive and judiciary with the regard to the Convention on the rights of PWDs and ensure their support in implementation of the concluding observations in consultation with organisations of PWDs.

Dr Emelonye believes the concluding observations can only be successful once government critically understands the concluding observations to the later, and believes in them as the best options to address the plight of PWDs in Uganda.  

According to Edson Ngirabakunzi, Executive Director National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda (NUDIPU), was meant to drum up support of various stakeholders in the implementation of the recommendations.



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