The National Council of People with Disabilities, NGos and other stakeholders on Wednesday called on government to speed up reforms within the country that protect and promote human rights of persons with disabilities.
Dominic Bizimana, the president of NUDOR noted that some of the reforms as required by Geneva Convention on human rights of disabled people which were supposed to be addressed in the previous years have not been met.
“For instance, the 2007 law on people with disabilities has various gaps which were supposed to be addressed in 2018 but this is yet to happen,” Bizimana said during a discussion meeting that gathered members of National Council of People with disabilities, Rwanda legal reform commission officials and other stakeholders at Hotel Marriott in Kigali.
The three day meeting is aimed at deliberating recommendations issued by Geneva Convention regarding respect of rights of people with disabilities.
Biziman said, among the recommendations, people with disabilities proposed the establishment of a disability rights module to be taught in schools and repeal all existing discriminatory provisions within Rwandan laws.
“Government was supposed to create about 2000 jobs for the disabled people but this has been slow. However, we notice that there is a political will the government to address challenges facing people with disabilities,” Bizimana added.
Rwanda is among the 177 States that have ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and so are required to submit regular reports to the Committee, which is composed of 18 international independent experts.
Rwanda ratified the United Nation Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Optional Protocol in 2008.
The Committee, also hear time to time from organisations of persons with disabilities, NGOs, national human rights institutions, and independent monitoring frameworks on whether respective countries have carried out reforms.
The fact that international community now has fully recognized that the exclusion and discrimination facing people with disabilities is a human rights concern for all nations in the world is of extreme importance for hundreds of millions of persons/people with disabilities.
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) offers great opportunities to improve living conditions of person with disabilities.
During the meeting that started on Tuesday, members of NUDOR also argued that real change in conditions of people with disabled can largely be achieved, if “we learn to identify, describe and report human rights violations against people with disabilities.”
“We must use our efforts to develop our capacity in monitoring the situation. Persons with disabilities themselves must play the major role in this pioneering this work,” members observed.
Jovin Bakunzi Akanashenge, legislative drafting specialist at Rwanda law reform commission said the government has put in place a legal framework to protect and promote the rights of persons with disabilities already.
“Government has not generally delayed to carry out reforms but we this process has to be widely consultative, gather views from all stakeholders, so that reforms are eventually implemented but meet all needs of people with disabilities,” Akanashenge said.
By Our Reporter