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Ugandan Rights of Persons with Disabilities

12 April 2016

Sense International urges the Ugandan government to turn its commitment to protect the rights of persons with disabilities into reality. The charity was responding to a meeting between the Ugandan government and the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – the independent UN body that reviews the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

The purpose of the Committee is to ensure that Uganda fulfils its obligations under the CRPD, and Uganda was reviewed last week by the Committee on its human rights record. The Committee posed questions to the government based on its written report, as well as shadow reports submitted by civil society, including a submission from Sense International. The submission from Sense International highlighted three key gaps in the enjoyment of rights for persons with deafblindness in Uganda:

  • The Right to Inclusive Education – We are calling for the government to establish reasonable accommodation for individual’s requirements as well as the approval and implementation of the Special Needs and Inclusive Education Policy
  • The Right to Work – We are calling for a  review of current technical and vocational education and training systems to ensure that it is inclusive of persons with deafblindness
  • The Right to Health – We are calling for the establishment of early identification and intervention services at lower level health facilities to ensure that newborns and infants with multiple sensory impairments are provided with appropriate support in their early years of growth and development.

Josephine Akiru, Country Representative at Sense International Uganda said:

“We believe the Ugandan government has taken positive steps to implement the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. However, we are concerned that all too often its laws, policies and commitments are not translating into practice for persons with deafblindness.

For example, we agree with Committee’s comments that budgetary allocation of programmes and services for persons with disabilities is ‘grossly inadequate’ and must be a priority. For example, Sense International is working closely with the Ugandan government to provide technical expertise and a model for early intervention to support the early childhood development of children with deafblindness. Adequate financing will be essential for the early identification and intervention programme’s successful roll out across the country. Without adequate resources the quality of services available to persons with deafblindness will reduce, along with any hope for greater inclusion of persons with deafblindness in society.

We look forward to reading the Concluding Observations of the Committee in the coming months, and urge the Ugandan government to continue to make steps to turn its commitment to protect the rights of persons with disabilities, into reality.”

First published: Tuesday 18 June 2013
Last updated: Friday 6 December 2019