The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, is hosting a week-long advanced short course on disability rights in an African context from 8 to 12 March 2012. The short course is part of the Centre’s efforts to promote disability rights in Africa by raising awareness about the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) (2006) and the newly adopted Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Africa (African Disability Protocol) (2018).
Specifically, the course aims to provide knowledge and understanding of various aspects of disability rights. These include the development of disability as a global human rights issue; how to apply the provisions of the CRPD and the African Disability Protocol; the intersection between human rights and cultural aspects of disability; and how to apply theoretical approaches to equality and non-discrimination in a disability context. The course is presented by lecturers from a variety of countries who are experts in disability rights law.
Day one of the short course was dedicated to providing participants with an introduction to and overview of disability rights at global and regional levels. Wilson Macharia, a doctoral candidate at the Centre for Human Rights, presented on the appropriate terminology to use when referring to persons with disabilities, calling for person-first languages, such as persons with disabilities instead of disabled persons.
Thereafter, Professor Ilze Grobelaar du-Plessis from the Department of Public Law at the Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, tracked the trajectory of the development of disability rights in a presentation titled ‘Historical development of disability rights.’ Professor Serges Kamga from the Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute (UNISA) introduced participants to the African Disability Protocol and the rationale behind its adoption. His presentation was followed by an engaging panel discussion on interrogating various strategies for getting African states to ratify the African Disability Protocol. The panelists were Professor Serges Kamga, Dagnachew Wakene, a doctoral candidate at UP’s Institute of Comparative and International Law in Africa (ICLA), and Dr Elizabeth Kamundia, from the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights.
The day concluded with a presentation on the CRPD by Professor Michael Ashley Stein, Executive Director of the Harvard Law School Project on Disability at Harvard University. The short course continues this week and ends on Friday 12 March 2021.
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