February 2, 2011

Participants in the DRPI Africa Regional Workshop have issued a Declaration for action on monitoring the rights of persons with disabilities.

Declaration on the Workshop on Monitoring the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Africa, 24th January – 2nd February 2011 in Kigali, Rwanda

Recognising that the UN General Assembly in 2006 adopted the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, in addition to preceding international human rights instruments;

Considering that as of December 2010, 96 countries had ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), and hence demonstrated their commitment to the protection, promotion and fulfilment of the rights of persons with disabilities;

Recognizing that despite the ratification of the CRPD by African states, the lives of persons with disabilities have largely remained unchanged. Recognizing further the urgent need for domestication and implementation of the CRPD in all African States in order to uphold the key human rights principles of dignity, autonomy, participation, inclusion and accessibility, non-discrimination and equality, as well as respect for difference in as far as persons with disabilities are concerned;

Having regard to the various countries and sub-regions represented in the present workshop;

The participants of the present workshop hereby declare;

That there is need to conduct holistic monitoring on the implementation of the CRPD in all African countries in order to realize the rights of persons with disabilities. Particularly, it is imperative to undertake comprehensive evidence and fact based monitoring of government and private compliance with the CRPD,

  • That the information obtained from this monitoring exercise shall be used to build a sustainable body of knowledge on an ongoing basis,
  • That monitoring of the rights of persons with disabilities shall be spearheaded and carried out by persons with disabilities and their representative organizations, and that they may collaborate with other independent human rights organizations for this purpose,
  • That holistic monitoring (systemic and individual monitoring) shall start immediately in five of the countries represented in the workshop, subject to the availability of resources. DRPI shall assist in the coordination of the holistic monitoring.
  • That the remaining countries shall endeavour to source funding to facilitate similar holistic monitoring exercises in their jurisdictions. Further that the respective regional and sub-regional umbrella organizations shall spearhead the training of monitors in at least 2 countries in each of the sub-regions,
  • That the participants in the present workshop shall forthwith form a network of disability rights monitors and organizations of persons with disabilities.

In conclusion, the workshop participants in the present workshop are grateful to the organisers of the Inaugural Workshop, DRPI, DRPI Africa Region Office and the Federation Nationale de Personnes Handicapes (FENAPH).

Agreed on this 2nd Day of February 2011 at Nobleza Hotel, Kigali – Rwanda.

List of Participants

Signatures of the participants