Working Group on Rights of Older Persons and People with Disabilities

Yeung Kam John Yeung Sik Yuen

Working Group Chairperson

    Activities as Chairperson of the Focal Point on the Rights of Older Persons in Africa

    4. Persons with disabilities are entitled to exercise their civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights on an equal basis with others. It is a fact, however, that disabled persons suffer from discrimination based on society's prejudice and ignorance, and they often do not enjoy the same opportunities as other persons.

    5. Article 18(4) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights provides for the rights of older persons and persons with disabilities. It states that, “The aged and the disabled shall also have the right to special measures of protection in keeping with their physical or moral needs.”

    6. Following the establishment of a Focal Point on the Rights of Older Persons during the 42nd Ordinary Session of the African Commission from 15 to 28 November 2007, in Brazzaville, in the Republic of Congo, a Consultative Meeting took place in Mauritius from 2-3 October 2008. It was recommended during this Meeting that, the African Commission should establish a Working Group on the Rights of Older Persons, and Persons with Disabilities. And since the rights of disabled persons is still a grey area, the African Commission decided to establish a Working Group on the Rights of Older Persons and Persons with Disabilities during its 44th Ordinary Session, which took place in Abuja, Federal Republic of Nigeria.

    7. The establishment of the Working Group was however deferred to the 45th Session of the Commission, so as to give time to the Commission to identify individual experts that will serve as members of the Working Group. These Experts are meant to work together with the Chairperson of the Focal Point, and Member of the Focal Point, Commissioner Reine Alapine-Gansou, to design strategies that will advance the rights of older persons and persons with disabilities in Africa, and also to advocate and lobby for treaties and legislations relevant to persons
    with disabilities, and older persons.

    8. During the inter-session, Commissioner Yeung Sik Yuen, together with Commissioner Reine Alapine Gansou, forwarded an advert on the website of the Commission, calling for applications from experts to become members of the proposed Working Group.

    9. The Secretariat of the African Commission received a number of applications which will be tabled before the

    Madame Reine Alapini-Gansou

    Working Group Member

      As Member of the Focal Point on the Elderly Persons

      11. Human rights should be all-encompassing and our Commission subscribes to this fact. Consequently, for the past two years the Commission has been working through its focal point on Elderly persons to give effect to the rights of the Elderly Persons. In a bid to implement the provisions of the Charter, the Commission believes it must go the extra mile to address the issue of the Disabled and to collaborate with all stakeholders.

      For this reason, on the sidelines of the 6th Extraordinary Session and as a Member of the Focal Point for Elderly Persons, I was involved in laying the groundwork leading to the establishment of the Mechanism for Elderly Persons and the Disabled in Africa.


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