Statement Of The Working Group On The Rights Of Older Persons And Persons With Disabilities In Africa Of The African Commission On Human And Peoples’ Rights, On The Occasion Of The International Day Of Persons With Disabilities – 3rd December 2017

    On the occasion of the 2017 International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD), this 3rd December 2017, the Working Group on the Rights of Older Persons and Persons with Disabilities in Africa (the Working Group) of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights joins celebrations happening all over the world aiming at promoting an understanding of disability issues and mobilising support for the dignity, rights and well-being of Persons with Disabilities.

    The IDPD this year focuses on “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient society for all”. The Working Group notes with satisfaction that Africa has made progress towards the effective adoption of an international binding legal framework guaranteeing rights of Persons with Disabilities on the continent.  The Working Group is happy to report that the Draft Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Africa has now gone through all the layers of the treaty-making process of the African Union and is due for adoption at the upcoming 30th Summit of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union.

    The Working Group has no doubt that a Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Africa will offer specific and strong guarantees against violations of basic rights of Persons with Disabilities, and will help reinstate their dignity which have often been challenged by systemic multiform exclusions from the wider society.

    As the Working Group marks this day, it has a special thought for the thousands of African migrants whose ordeals over the past recent years have made the headlines of international media. The recent tragic revelation of modern human trafficking in Libya with human beings sold as slaves is shocking and calls for worldwide condemnation. The Working Group is particularly concerned with the consequential trauma and potential debilitating and incapacitating effect on the victims of such gross, inhuman and degrading treatment which amounts to acts of torture.

    The Working Group wishes all Persons with Disabilities and their caregivers a happy celebration.

    Done in Banjul, the Republic of The Gambia, on 3rd December 2017

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      Date: 03 December 2017

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