Beyond Legislation: Implementing the Employment Provisions of the Persons with Disabilities Act of Uganda 2006

Patrick Ojok Lecturer, Department of Community and Disability Studies, Kyambogo University, Kampala, Uganda. PhD candidate, Department of Disability and Human Development, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA.

Abstract: Given the lack of social safety nets for persons with disabilities as well as other people in Uganda, employment is critical to people’s socio-economic well-being. Uganda adopted a three prong policy approach to disability employment embodying anti-discrimination, employment quotas and affirmative action. A combination of these policies can reduce barriers and increase access to employment for persons with disabilities. However, some of Uganda’s well-intended disability policies have not been implemented due to a significant implementation gap.

This paper examines barriers to implementing the employment policies enshrined in the Persons with Disabilities Act of Uganda 2006. It analyses the experiences of selected western countries that are implementing similar policies and draws some lessons applicable to Uganda. It is argued that, while Uganda has shown a strong political will by passing disability laws, their implementation should be more strenuously followed up. Future directions for implementation are discussed. Keywords: Employment; Implementation; the Persons with Disabilities Act 2006; Uganda; Disability Rights; Development; Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; CRPD

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