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Zim govt commended for ratifying the African Disability Protocol


Harare, (New Ziana) –The Zimbabwe government has been commended for ratifying the African Disability Protocol (ADP), a move described as a huge step forward in protecting their rights.

Parliament last week endorsed the ADP before President Emmerson Mnangagwa appended his signature in assent.

Ratification of the protocol follows years of campaigning and lobbying led by Sight savers’ Equal World campaign, in partnership with local organizations of persons with disabilities.

The protocol is the first Pan-African human rights treaty that specifically addresses forms of discrimination affecting people with disabilities on the continent, such as harmful practices, beliefs, and superstitions.

National director for the Federation of Orgasnisations of Disabled People in Zimbabwe (FODPZ) Leonard Marange, who is also the chairperson for Equal Zimbabwe, said the ratification of the ADP demonstrates Zimbabwe’s commitment to ensure people with disabilities can access their rights on an equal basis with others.

The ADP builds on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), which was the first comprehensive human rights treaty of this century.

But unlike the UNCRPD, the ADP addresses the specific and unique forms of discrimination that affect the more than 80 million people with disabilities living in African countries.

Once ratified, the protocol will ensure that member countries must create and enact disability-specific laws and policies in line with the treaty while allowing their citizens to hold them to account.

Sightsavers’ Equal World campaign is working alongside Persons with Disabilities in 13 countries who are calling on their governments to ratify the ADP and protect the rights of people with disabilities across the continent.

New Ziana

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