Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) CAN Tue, 13 Feb 2018 14:46:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) 32 32 135483216 Ratify the Protocol on disability, African governments told Tue, 13 Feb 2018 14:46:00 +0000 The Africa Disability Alliance calls on African Governments to ratify the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Africa

The Africa Disability Alliance (ADA), wish to congratulate the African Union (AU) Assembly of African Union Heads of States and Governments held from 28-29 January 2018 for adopting of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Africa (herein referred to as the Africa Disability Protocol (ADP) or Protocol).

31 January 2018 will forever be engraved in the memory of the over 84 million African with disabilities, including older persons and their supporters.  The Assembly, during its 30th summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia took a historic decision that a direct positive impact on the lives of persons with disabilities giving effect to ADA’s vision of ‘An African continent where people with disabilities enjoy their human rights.’

ADA recognises the AU and its agencies as key partners in ensuring fulfilment of human rights for people with disabilities in Africa. ADA has been collaborating with AU Commission’s Department of Social Affairs (DSA) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (where ADA has a regional office), African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) in Banjul, the Gambia and the Pan African Parliament (PAP) in Midrand, South Africa. 

ADA has Observer Status with the ACHPR (the ADA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mr Kudakwashe “AK’ Dube is an expert member of the Working Group for Older Persons and Persons with Disabilities) and a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with PAP which enabled the organisation to play a pivotal role in the development and drafting the Protocol.

ADA provided resources, expertise, capacity, research evidence, diplomacy and international influence that guided the development of the protocol. The organisations mobilised international, regional, nation civil society organisations (CSOs), Disabled Peoples’ Organisations (DPOs), development cooperation partners in advocacy and lobbying programmes that targeted the AU in its policy and legal reforms.

We would like to thank our partners the African Union Commission, the Regional Economic Communities, the African Commission for Human and Peoples’ Rights, the Pan African Parliament, and the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights for their active participation and support over the years.

In a statement to mark the adoption of the Protocol, the CEO of ADA Mr K. Dube said: ‘This is a momentous occasion, a key milestone in a journey that started more than eight years ago. It is important to stress that the Protocol adds value to and is premised on the provisions of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.’ 

He went on to say: ‘ADA acknowledges the key role played by the African Union Commission, ACHPR, PAP, partners such as the Swedish Development Agency (Sida), European Union, Christoffel Blindenmission (CBM), Open Society Institute of Southern Africa (OSISA), Finnish Foreign Ministry, GiZ, USAID and African governments who, since 2008 provided much needed support at the various stages of developing the Protocol.  We thank all organisations, academic institutions, DPOs, ADA Continental Member Organisations[1] and their leadership/management structures that provided invaluable inputs, proposals and launched various campaigns that resulted in the endorsement of the draft Protocol by the ACHPR, AU Special Technical Committees (STCs) and other stakeholders. We thank the media, ADA network of Journalists, and Network of Parliamentarians for the support and promotion of this Protocol and ADA’s work in general.’

Mr K. Dube urged all the fifty-five African countries to now ratify the Protocol in record time. He addition, he said:

‘Our message to current and future generations of children, youth, women, men with disabilities in their diversity is that let us appreciate the efforts, sacrifices and determination that went into the development and campaigns/programmes for the adoption of the Protocol. Use this instrument in the enforcement of your rights and ensure that all its articles are known and utilised by all persons with disabilities.’

The Africa Disability Alliance Participation in the Drafting of the Protocol

The adoption of the ADP is a product of advocacy efforts dating back to 2008. The initiative started with the Africa Disability Alliance (ADA), former Secretariat of the African Decade of Persons with Disabilities (SADPD), convening a roundtable in Cape Town in 2011, which resulted in a Communiqué raising issues of concern on the process undertaken by the African Union Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) through its Working Group of Older Persons and Persons with Disabilities in drafting an African Disability Protocol (ADP). This subsequently resulted in a successful advocacy strategy that lobbied the African Union (AU) to make the drafting process more inclusive and participatory.

Thus, ensuring that the African Commission in its process of developing the Protocol, ensured that the process was progressive, participatory and inclusive. The approach included the generation and utilization of knowledge on disability and human rights in Africa for the purposes of developing sector position papers and awareness-raising. Successful advocacy and lobbying work was undertaken through the years. Several roundtable consultation sessions were held with stakeholders, experts and disability human rights defenders across the African continent.

The African Commission on Human and People’s Rights at its 45th session in 2009 put in place a process towards promoting the rights of persons with disabilities. They established a Working Group on Older Persons and Persons with Disabilities to develop the initial and preliminary draft of the Disability Protocol. However, this process was not consultative. Disability experts and ADA’s mobilised stakeholders and successfully appealed for the process to be opened for wide consultations and for the Working Group to be made inclusive of disability experts.  To inform the process, ADA produced a discussion report to guide the debate for and against the African Disability Protocol. It also argued why the provisions in an ADP must be consistent with the minimum standards set in the UN Convention on the Right of Persons with Disabilities. In November 2011, an inclusive ACHPR Working Group started the process of drafting the ADP.

The African Disability Protocol (ADP) builds on the rights enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and UN charter. The protocol has an African relevance, thrust and the adoption of the ADP is a major success the Africa Disability Alliance and its partners in spearheading and driving the rights of persons with disabilities in Africa. The protocol reflects a legal instrument from an African perspective.

Article 1 of the Protocol states the purpose as ‘—to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human and people’s rights by all persons with disabilities, and to ensure respect for their inherent dignity’.

Article 2 covers General Principles; Article 3 General Obligations; Article 4 Non-discrimination; Article 5 Right to Equality; Article 6 Equal Recognition before the Law; Article 7 Rights to Life; Article 8 Right to Liberty and Security of Persons; Article 9 Harmful Practices ; Article 10 Situations of Risk ; Article 11 Right to Access Justice; Article 12 Right to Live in the Community; Article 13 Accessibility ; Article 14 Right to Education ; Article 15 Right to Health ; Article 16 Habilitation and Rehabilitation ; Article 17 Right to Work ; Article 18 Right to Adequate Standard of Living ; Article 19 Right to Participate in Political and Public Life; Article 20 Self-representation; Article 21 Right to Freedom of Expression and opinion ; Article 22 Access to Information Article 23 Right to Participate in Sports, Recreation and Culture; Article 24 Right to Family; Article 25 Women and Girls with Disabilities; Article 26 Children with Disabilities ; Article 27 Youth with Disabilities; Article 28 Older Persons with Disabilities; Article 29 Duties of Persons with Disabilities; Article 30. Statistics, Data and Other Surveys; Article 31 Cooperation. The Protocol has other articles that important in the value chain of ratification, compliance and implementation.

ADA encourages all African countries to ratify and deposit the Protocol to the AUC in line with Articles 35-36. Without 15 countries adopting the Protocol, this law will not come into effect.

The Africa Disability Alliance is a technical agency that promotes the rights of persons with disabilities play meaningful roles at as full members of an inclusive society and who have important contributions to make to their families, communities, countries and internationally. This includes the requirement that People with Disabilities, as individuals and through their organizations, play a meaningful role in the implementation, monitoring, oversight, evaluation and enforcement of policy/legal instruments, policies and programmes that directly affect their lives.

In order to achieve the objectives of the Protocol, we appeal to our governments, development (cooperation) partners, the private sectors and funding/technical partners to support the Africa Disability Alliance (ADA) and all stakeholders to ensure ratification, adoption and implementation of the Protocol.  Click here to download the protocol


International Albinism Awareness Day 13 June 2018 Mon, 12 Feb 2018 12:29:56 +0000

People with albinism face multiple forms of discrimination worldwide. Albinism is still profoundly misunderstood, socially and medically. The physical appearance of persons with albinism is often the object of erroneous beliefs and myths influenced by superstition, which foster their marginalization and social exclusion. This leads to various forms of stigma and discrimination.

In some communities, erroneous beliefs and myths, heavily influenced by superstition, put the security and lives of persons with albinism at constant risk. These beliefs and myths are centuries old and are present in cultural attitudes and practices around the world.

On 18 December 2014, the General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming, with effect from 2015, 13 June as International Albinism Awareness Day.

The United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a resolution in 2013 calling for the prevention of attacks and discrimination against persons with albinism. Moreover, in response to the call from civil society organizations advocating to consider persons  with albinism as a specific group with particular needs that require special attention, on 26 March 2015, the Council created  the mandate of Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism.

In Uganda, Albinism Umbrella organization is working with stakeholders to promote the rights of PWAs. For details contact AUO.


“Disability and Inclusion in Africa: The Role of Assistive Technology” Thu, 08 Feb 2018 14:25:12 +0000 Ensuring universal access to essential and affordable assistive technology will be crucial in the attainment of the development agenda for the  decades ahead, a report  by AfriNEAD, says. The further argues that overcoming impairments, eliminating barriers to enable persons with disabilities to actively participate and become productive members of society is one of the many issues government in Africa should be concerned if we are to realise SDGs. Click here  to read more

Global Health and Disability Thu, 08 Feb 2018 13:56:56 +0000 An online course on Global health and disability is set to commence later this month.
Leaving no one behind: disability, health and well being in global development is a 3 week (maximum 4 hours per week) free online course from the International Centre for Evidence in Disability at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine Course. It  starts 26th February 2018. The course features key global leaders in disability and many testimonials and videos from people with disabilities from around the world. It argues strongly for the inclusion of people with disabilities in development. It is suited to anyone with an interest in health and disability, from low or high income settings, and should take up about 2-3 hours per week for 3 weeks.

Why join the course:

Around 15% of the world’s population, or 1 billion people, live with some form of disability, with numbers continuing to rise over the coming decades. People with disabilities are often overlooked in national and international development, and can face widespread barriers in accessing services, including health and rehabilitation services, even though simple initiatives are available to enable access. Our three week course aims to raise awareness about the importance of health and well-being of people with disabilities in the context of the global development agenda: Leaving no one behind.

What topics will you cover?

• The magnitude of disability and relevance of disability to the
global development agenda
• Defining disability and how it can be understood and measured
• The challenges to health and wellbeing amongst people with
disabilities and why people with disabilities might have poorer health
• Why people with disabilities may have difficulty in accessing health services
• Links among longer term health conditions and disability
• How to improve access to health care and rehabilitation for people
with disabilities
• Community based inclusive development for improving access to health
and rehabilitation for people with disabilities

For more details, to check out the trailer or to register your free
place on the course, click here

6th CBR Africa conference flyer Wed, 31 Jan 2018 11:58:29 +0000 Down load the 6th CBR Africa Conference flyer here 

AU Heads of States adopt the Protocol on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Wed, 31 Jan 2018 11:32:14 +0000

Following approval by the ACHPR in April 2016, the draft Protocol was submitted to the treaty-making process of the African Union (AU).  This process has now been concluded – the AU Heads of State has adopted the Protocol, which must now be ratified by countries before full domestication at country level

Women with disability need more attention. Photo: Joseph Malinga

Source: Disability Rights. It is with great excitement that Disability Rights is sharing the news that the AU Heads of State meeting yesterday, 30 January 2018, adopted the Protocol on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  Africa therefore now has a binding legal treaty dedicated to its citizens with disabilities across the continent.

At the start of the African Decade for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Members States requested the ACHPR to develop a protocol on the rights of persons with disabilities during the African Union 2003 Ministerial Conference in Human Rights. See Louis O. Oyaro, Africa at Crossroads: The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, 30 Am. J. Int’l L. 349, 360 (2015). African States had previously conveyed their concerns over the rights of persons with disabilities on issues such as discrimination, poverty, negative effects of traditional practices, forced abortion, abuse and violence during armed conflict, and the roles of families and caretakers.

See id. at 360-61. During the ACHPR’s 45th Ordinary Session in 2009, it added a focus on the rights of persons with disabilities to the pre-existing Working Group on the Rights of Older Persons, establishing a new combined special mechanism, the Working Group on the Rights of Older Persons and People with Disabilities. The Working Group has since drafted protocols on both the rights of persons with disabilities and the rights of older persons. See ACHPR, Working Group on the Rights of Older Persons and People with Disabilities.

After initial drafts of a disability rights protocol drew criticism from civil society, the Working Group sought comments for a draft that would address issues specific to the region. See Louis O. Oyaro, Africa at Crossroads: The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, 349-50. The Working Group went on to produce another draft protocol in 2013 and a second draft in 2014, both of which were opened to comments.

The intent in drafting the protocol was to lay out the rights of persons with disabilities in a continental context, drawing from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities but also addressing additional issues specific to Africa. The draft protocol, accordingly, addresses issues faced by persons with disabilities in Africa, such as increased rates of poverty; systemic discrimination; and risk of violence and abuse, particularly for those with albinism and women and girls with disabilities. Id. at preamble. The protocol also seeks to provide a foundation from which Member States can formulate or adjust legislation impacting persons with disabilities. Id. The ACHPR has in the past found State law on persons with disabilities incompatible with international norms. See ACommHPR, Purohit and Moore v. Gambia, Communication No. 241/01, 33rd Ordinary Session, 29 May 2003.

The ACHPR held in 2003 that Gambia’s legislative regime regarding persons with disabilities was not compatible with the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Charter). The complaint alleged that Gambia, a Member State of the African Union and State party to the African Charter, branded persons with mental illness as “lunatics” in its national legislative framework, did not provide adequate facilities for those detained under its Lunatics Detention Act, and had disenfranchised those in detention for their disability. The ACHPR found the practices in violation of the rights to equal protection and non-discrimination, protected by articles 2 and 3 of the African Charter, on the basis of disability and in violation of substantive rights, such as the right to human dignity. See ACHPR, Purohit and Moore v. Gambia, 29 May 2003.

The protocol requires States parties to ensure that people with disabilities are not discriminated against and enjoy equality. The text details the particular rights of persons with disabilities to: life, liberty, security of person, to be free from harmful practices, to protection in situations of risk, to equal recognition before the law, access to justice, to live in the community, accessibility, education, health, rehabilitation and habilitation, work, an adequate standard of living and social protection, participation in political and public life, self-representation, freedom of expression and opinion, participation in recreation and culture, and family. Id. at arts. 4-21. It also recognizes the particular vulnerabilities and rights of women, children, youth, and older persons with disabilities. Id. at arts. 22-25.

Additionally, the protocol extends rights to family and caregivers of people with disabilities who might otherwise be subject to discrimination as a result of their association. Id. art. 3. The protocol recognizes the specific protection needs of disabled people in periods of armed conflict or other humanitarian situations, as well. Id. art. 7. The protocol specifically requires States to take necessary steps to promote equality and to provide reasonable accommodations. These affirmative steps and special measures are not considered discrimination, pursuant to the text. See Draft Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Africa, art. 3. This positive obligation specifically applies to access to basic economic and social spheres, such as employment under just and favourable conditions, education, and health care and conditions of health. Id. arts. 12, 13, 15. People with disabilities are also guaranteed rights to equal opportunity to participate in politics and governance, liberty and humane treatment, free speech and expression, and access to justice. Id. arts. 5, 9, 17, 19.

The Protocol follows the structure of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, incorporates all the obligations of the UNCRPD, but puts these obligations within an African context.

Following approval by the ACHPR in April 2016, the draft Protocol was submitted to the treaty-making process of the African Union (AU).  This process has now been concluded – the AU Heads of State has adopted the Protocol, which must now be ratified by countries before full domestication at country level.

PWDs are excluded in dev’t because disability is expensive, leaders think-says study Tue, 30 Jan 2018 13:37:17 +0000  

There are many hundreds of millions persons with disabilities in the world. Most of them are very poor. They are not given the chance to go to school. They do not have a job. They do not get health services and social services. Many are isolated. Often they are not welcomed by their family and the community. Women and girls often suffer from violence and sexual abuse. click here to read more

How sponsorship can make a difference in deaf child’s life Thu, 25 Jan 2018 14:00:11 +0000

From sponsored child to inspirational champion for children with disabilities. 29-year-old SIMON  EROKU talks about his own sponsorship journey, and the springboard Global Care gave him to offering hope and a future to some of the most vulnerable children in Uganda.

After Simon finished high school, he carried on volunteering at the Centre, helping with the initial research into the idea of developing a dedicated centre for children with disabilities. Read more

Helping children with weak grades improve Wed, 24 Jan 2018 09:47:10 +0000
Special Needs teacher taking pupils through a lesson.  Photo: The Observer

What would you do today if your child continuously performs below average? For some parents, the under performing child would have be abandoned to waste. For others, they would work hard to help brighten the future of their under-performing child.  In this article you read how a mother heavily invested her time, mind and money to see her son have a potentially bright future. Click here to read more (Source: The Observer Newspaper).

The joy of supporting needy communities Tue, 23 Jan 2018 07:38:11 +0000
A man with physical disability attends to his farm with his wife, in Busia district

By Sharon Handongwe

Working to change the lives of poor communities can really be rewarding with feelings of joy and fulfillment! However, this comes with a lot of endurance and hard work as well.

For Dr. Bernie, a visiting consultant psychiatrist, this is certainly true in every aspect of it. Bernie is currently working in remote areas of Monze district in southern Zambia. She carries with her a sense of joy and fulfilment on the face as she walks through the woods and swamps in company of a missionary team as they traverse these poor communities to render the much-needed services to vulnerable children with disabilities.

“The Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) team here at the Holy Family are simply medical missionaries in the 21st century,” she observed.

Every Tuesday and Thursday the CBR team goes out to a pre-determined place to offer therapeutic and educational services to persons with disabilities. In February 2015, the team visited Ntaamba, in Bweengwa, in Monza district. Dr. Bernie, together with her husband Leo, joined the team.    The couple had visited the country to understand challenges CBR practitioners encounter while striving to improve the lives of Persons with disabilities, especially clients who presented with psychiatric conditions.

The trip did not only provide a lifetime experience for the couple, but also orientated them to the realities that CBR workers face. One interesting experience was when the team had to abandon their vehicle for close to half a mile away in order to cross a stream in a swampy area on foot; because the car could simply not go there.  Whereas it was such a difficult moment for the visiting couple, it was just an everyday life for the local team.

On the other side of the swamp, a school administration had been waiting to welcome the team warmly and allocate them a class to conduct a screening exercise. At least 13 new cases were identified during the outreach. The major cases presented with issues ranging from Neurological conditions, physical conditions, deaf-blindness and intellectual disability.

The couple also gave a talk on disability to the school.  Social welfare issues that came up were also addressed. For example ……… Officials from the orthopedic department also gave the necessary advice and worked on some assistive devices that needed minor repairs.

While Bernie had a great time supporting the Holy Family physiotherapist to handle some of the cases, Leo was greatly engaged with the school children and kept most of the pupils entertained with his picture taking spree. Overall, the goal of CBR was achieved, which is to take services as close to the people as possible.