September 30, 2015 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Diana Samarasan, Founding Executive Director
CRPD Committee List of Issues for Uganda Publicized
This week, the Committee on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD Committee) publicized its List of issues for Ugandan government response before their upcoming review of the government in April 2016.
The list of issues includes inquires into Uganda’s plans to harmonize legislation where people with disabilities are concerned, and to introduce comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation. It requests information from the government on whether rights of women with disabilities are mainstreamed into gender equality strategies and concrete measures available for women with disabilities to report violence and access courts. It also asks about equality before the law and measures in place to prevent involuntary institutionalization of persons with disabilities. Further, it queries the government on commitment in law to an enforceable right to inclusive education for children with disabilities.
These, and other questions, were influenced by the visit of a delegation of Disabled Persons’ Organizations (DPOs) to Geneva in early September 2015. On September 11th, DPO representatives, led by the National Union of Persons with Disabilities of Uganda (NUDIPU), participated in an interactive dialogue with the Committee regarding conditions for people with disabilities. The delegates highlighted major rights challenges, including for marginalized sectors of the disability community, as well as opportunities. The delegation also participated in bilateral meetings with Committee members and other UN representatives in Geneva.
These meetings were enabled by a partnership between the Disability Rights Fund (DRF), the Disability Rights Advocacy Fund (DRAF), and the International Disability Alliance, who together provided technical support to the Ugandan disability community, including towards production and submission of an alternative report, outlining disability concerns in detail. DRF/DRAF and other donors supported the Geneva travel of DPO representatives.
“As a follow up to the Ugandan DPO community’s hard work over several years on an alternative report, outlining concerns of the community as a whole, in Geneva, the delegation presented key highlights to the Committee about needs and gaps in law, policy and services for people with disabilities in Uganda,” says Diana Samarasan, DRF’s Founding Executive Director. “Their inputs to the CRPD Committee will ensure that there is positive change for persons with disabilities at country level.”
The Disability Rights Fund is thankful for support of donors including; the American Jewish World Service; the Ansara Family Fund at the Boston Foundation; the Foundation to Promote Open Society, part of the Open Society Foundations; the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation; the Leir Charitable Foundations; and UK aid from the UK government. The Disability Rights Advocacy Fund is supported by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).