Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, hosts an annual conference on disability rights in an African context during the month of November. The inaugural disability rights conference was held in 2013. The conference acts as a platform for convening dialogue amongst key stakeholders on disability rights, and to spotlight the pertinent and emerging disability rights concerns in the African region. More information on previous editions of the conference can be found at  https://www.chr.up.ac.za/disability-rights-projects/dru-annual-conference.

In 2020, the conference will focus on developing responses for overcoming barriers faced by persons with disabilities in the respect, protection and fulfilment of the right to health in the African region.

Download Call for Papers

The conference has two main complementary objectives: 1) to critically appraise laws, policies, practices, programmes, polities and ideologies that impede the respect, protection and fulfilment of the right to health of persons with disabilities; and 2) to suggest how to overcome the impediments.

The conference will be convened virtually via webinar by the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, South Africa, on 17 and 18 November 2020. Authors of abstracts and papers should seek to propose ideas and remedial approaches which can serve as resources for assisting persons with disabilities, lawmakers, courts and tribunals, policymakers, human rights defenders, health-care and rehabilitation service providers, education providers, employers, caregivers, community support service providers, and other pertinent actors in contributing towards the realisation of the right to health of persons with disabilities. It is anticipated that papers presented at this conference will be reworked by authors and submitted for consideration for publication in the 2021 volume of the African Disability Rights Yearbook.


In its preamble and substantive provisions, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CPRD) underscore the imperative of securing equality and human dignity for persons with disabilities in all socio-economic sectors, including in the provision of health care and related services.

Submission specifications

A committee will review abstracts that are in English, are 400-450 words in length, without footnotes or endnotes, and in MS Word format (not PDF). Abstracts must include in a single document: title of abstract, author’s name, affiliation, qualifications, email address and body of abstract.

Important dates

  • Abstracts must be sent by email to tariro.rufetu@up.ac.za by 14 September 2020.
  • Authors wishing to discuss ideas before submitting an abstract can contact the convenors at charles.ngwena@up.ac.za /nkatha.murungi@up.ac.za.
  • Authors will be notified by 17 September 2020 whether their abstract has been accepted.
  • Authors of accepted abstracts are required to submit full papers by 30 October 2020.


Authors whose conference paper is accepted for presentation at the conference may be considered for reimbursement or modest compensation for data costs related to their participation in the conference.

For more information, please contact: 

Mrs Tariro Rufetu

tarior rufetu

Research Assistant, Disability Rights Unit LLB (UNISA)

Tel  +27 (0)12 420 3072
Fax +27 (0)86 580 5743 


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