Pan African Parliament (PAP) has called for protection and promotion rights of persons living with disabilities on the continent.
In a two days event debating under the theme ‘workshop on continental disability legislation and other related policy instruments’, PAP is expected harmonize ADA’s position on clauses of the Model Disability Law (MDL) that are in line with the African Disability Protocol (ADP) and other policy instruments.
“We call on partners to support ADA and PAP to enable them to uplift the living standards of Persons with Disabilities in Africa,” said Kudakwashe Dube, ADA’s CEO during the kickoff the August Sitting of the Permanent Committees of the 5th Parliament of the PAP underway in Midrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.
“With the support of African legislators, we call on all African countries to implement the provisions of the Protocol and other disability legal instruments. As you know, the AU policies and the ADP require a Model Disability Law that can be used by AU members’ states to domesticate the protocol and formulate national policies and legislative regulations.”
The Model Disability Law provides mechanism for cooperation between PAP and ADA in a broad range of activities, particularly the development of this MDL to give effect to the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Africa (Protocol) adopted by the African Union Heads of States and Governments in January 2018.
“The Model Disability Law is designed to assist Africa States in reforming and harmonizing their national laws on Disability. It covers all aspects of the human rights of persons with disabilities. Through our organization, we require that People with Disabilities, as individuals and through their organisations, play a meaningful role in the implementation, monitoring, oversight, evaluation and enforcement of policy/legal instruments, policies and programmes that directly affect their lives,” added Dube.
Addressing the workshop on behalf of the PAP President, 1st Vice-President, Hon. Stephen Masele, challenged African legislators to push for consideration of the Protocol as it only requires fifteen ratifications to enter into force.” I urge all parliamentarians to advocate for the quick ratification of this Protocol that addresses the Rights of this vulnerable group,” says Hon. Masele.
Hon. Masele further noted that among other duties of the PAP is to promote the implementation and domestication of the African Union Legal instruments to ensure that legal frameworks are put in place to protect the interest and rights of every group of society, especially the vulnerable groups such as people disabilities.
“We are mindful that the diverse needs for persons with disabilities should be mainstreamed in the work of the PAP. We need to ensure that no-one is left behind if we want to speed up the integration and development agenda of the continent. “We must promote recognition and respect for the human rights of persons living with disabilities and make sure their contributions and concerns are more visible.
We must also disseminate accurate information on the situation of this vulnerable group. As such, the indicator of effective implementation of AU legal instruments should be measured by the formulation of national policies and legislative regulations.”