Concluding Observations and Recommendations on the CRPD
The Chairperson, Uganda Human Rights Commission led a delegation of stakeholders that have done a lot of commendable work in the promotion and protection of rights of persons with Disabilities. This delegation included representatives from National Council for Disability, Equal Opportunities Commission, Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, NUDIPU and Uganda Human Rights Commission.
Uganda ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and its two Optional Protocols in 2008. In 2012, Uganda complied with its international treaty body reporting obligation by submitting its initial report to the Committee on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Consequently, in April 2016, Uganda’s record on the implementation of the CRPD was reviewed by the aforementioned Committee and concluding observations and recommendations were developed. To that end Uganda is meant to address the key human rights concerns and observations raised.
Under paragraph 69 of the concluding observations, the Committee enjoins Uganda to transmit the concluding observations and action to members of the Government, Parliament, officials in relevant ministries, local authorities, organizations of persons with disabilities and members of relevant professional groups, such as education, medical and legal professionals, as well as to the media.
On 15th June 2016, the UHRC together with NUDIPU and OHCHR disseminated these concluding observations to over 120 stakeholders including: the media; DPOs; education, medical and legal professionals.
These concluding observations and recommendations encompassed: harmonizing definitions of disability in various laws and policies and a systematic review of all legislation and bringing it in line with the Convention; adopting measures to amend and/or repeal legislation with derogatory terminology against persons with disabilities; providing for legal protection against disability-based discrimination, multiple and intersectional forms of discrimination facing persons with disabilities; incorporating the concept of reasonable accommodation in the legislation as defined in Article 2 of the Convention and recognition of the denial of reasonable accommodation as a form of discrimination based on disability.
In addition the Committee recommended for the repealing and elimination of legislation and practices that allow for deprivation of legal capacity on the basis of disability and the adoption of measures to prohibit deprivation of legal capacity on customary basis; adoption of measures to ensure that all persons with disabilities have access to justice including the establishment of free legal aid for persons with disabilities concerning their rights; and the dissemination of information in appropriate formats like braille, tactile, augmentative and alternative formats and the Ugandan sign language; establishment of a National Coordination Team for the implementation of the concluding observations; development of an action plan for the implementation of the CRPD; and strengthening the capacity of the Uganda Human Rights Commission with sufficient budgetary allocation and human resources to fulfill its mandate effectively.
The Commission in line with its constitutional mandate pledges to continue monitoring Government’s compliance with the CRPD and the concluding observations. In addition, the Commission plans to work closely with the Equal Opportunities Commission, National Council for Disability and Disability People’s Organizations (DPOs) in the monitoring the implementation of these concluding observations.
It is in recognition of the Parliament’s key role in ensuring that these recommendations are implemented by various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) that the Uganda Human Rights Commission, the Equal Opportunities Commission, the National Council for Disability, the Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development and the (DPOs) presented these CRPD concluding Observations and recommendations to the Human Rights Committee of Parliament consideration and action.
Therefore, Parliament is called upon to ensure that the rights of PWDs are promoted and protected in Uganda and to ensure the expeditious implementation of the concluding observations and recommendations by the various MDAs.