UN to review Uganda’s record on rights of people with disabilities

Uganda’s record on observance of the rights of people with disabilities will this week come up for review before the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

The review will take place on 7 and 8 April in Geneva. Uganda is one of the 162 States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and so is required to submit regular reports to the Committee on how it is implementing the Convention. A team of senior government officials from the Ministries of Gender , Foreign Affairs and Internal Affairs led by the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador James Mugume are in Geneva for the review process.

The CRPD, which is composed of 18 international independent experts, will engage in a dialogue with officials from the government of Uganda and also listen from representatives for people with disabilities Non-governmental organizations and other organizations representing disabled persons.

The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is the body of independent experts which monitors implementation of the Convention by the States Parties.

All States parties are obliged to submit regular reports to the Committee on how the rights are being implemented. States must report initially within two years of accepting the Convention and thereafter every four years. The Committee examines each report and shall make such suggestions and general recommendations on the report as it may consider appropriate and shall forward these to the State Party concerned.

The Optional Protocol to the Convention gives the Committee competence to examine individual complaints with regard to alleged violations of the Convention by States parties to the Protocol.

Uganda has of late come under strong criticism for failure to adopt policies which ensure that persons with all types of disabilities enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms. Others countries to be reviewed in this session include Serbia, Thailand, Chile, Slovakia, Portugal and Lithuania.

Meanwhile, this year is the 10th anniversary of the convention on the rights of persons with disabilities, which was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 13th, December, 2006.

To commemorate 10 years, the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will hold an event on April 19th, in Geneva to call for universal ratification of the convention and for the sustainable development goals to be implemented in relation to people with disabilities.