Academic Conference on Disability Rights in Africa on the theme ‘Overcoming obstacles: Towards the effective implementation of the CRPD in Africa’

The Centre for Human Rights invites abstracts for a conference on disability rights with a focus on the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in the African region. The conference will be held at the Centre for Human Rights on Tuesday, 5 November 2013 in Pretoria, South Africa. The conference will also coincide with the launch of first issue of the African Yearbook on Disability Rights on the evening of 5 November

It is anticipated that papers presented at the 5 November conference would be subsequently re-worked for consideration for publication in the 2014 issue of the African Yearbook on Disability Rights.

The exclusion and marginalisation of people with disabilities is a global experience, and the African region is no exception. The UN General Assembly’s adoption of the CRPD in December 2006 was hailed as a milestone, marking a paradigm shift from treating disability as a mere welfare issue to treating it as a human rights issue with vertical as well as horizontal obligations for the respect, protection and fulfilment of the equality and non-discrimination rights of people with disabilities. To date, 32 African States have ratified the CRPD. But what does this mean at the grassroots level and for the real lives lived by people with disabilities? Has there been effective implementation of state obligations arising from CRPD in the African region? If not, what are the impeding factors and how might they be overcome?

The conference is aimed at interrogating issues relating to the effective implementation of the CRPD in the African region. It invites abstracts that seek to share theoretical as well as practical perspectives and insights about identifying the obstacles and, ultimately, suggesting ways of overcoming the obstacles at a country, regional or sub-regional level. The conference is multidisciplinary. It aims to bring together scholars, practitioners, disability activists and organizations working in the field of disability and disability rights.

Possible topics to consider

The conference theme opens itself to a wide range of topics which include but are not limited to the following topics taken individually or in combination:

  • Regulation of disability-related discrimination under domestic laws
  • Compatibility of domestics laws with state obligations under the CRPD
  • Reasonable accommodation of people with disabilities in public and private sectors, including in the provision of goods and services
  • Exploring a selected article or selected articles of the CRPD with a view to an appraisal of state compliance, identifying gaps and advancing remedial approaches
  • Role of courts in respecting, protecting and fulfilling disability rights
  • Role of human rights institutions or other similar institutions in the promotion of disability rights and the implementation of the CRPD
  • Domestic frameworks for involvement of persons with disabilities and civil society in the implementation of the CRPD
  • Domestic frameworks for monitoring implementation of the CRPD

Submission specifications
A committee will review abstracts that are in English and are 300-350 words in length.
Abstracts must include: (1) author’s name; (2) affiliation; (3) qualifications; (4) e-mail address; and (5) title of abstract.
Abstracts must be sent by e-mail to thuto.hlalele@up.ac.za.

Submission deadline
30 June 2013. Authors will be notified by 15 August 2013 whether their abstract has been accepted.

Limited funding for travel and accommodation is available only to support those whose abstracts have been accepted. Applicants seeking financial support should indicate in a separate letter, accompanying the abstract, the reason(s) for the application and the nature of support they are seeking. Applicants will also be notified by 15 August 2013 whether their application for funding has been accepted.

Enquiries about the conference should be sent to Ms Thuto Hlalele.
Email address: thuto.hlalele@up.ac.za | Telephone number: + 27 (0)12 420 3587


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