The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, cordially invites you to its 10th Annual Disability Rights Conference on 17 and 18 November 2022 which will take place in a hybrid format (in Pretoria, South Africa; and on zoom). The theme of this year’s conference is “Migration, Displacement and Disability: A human rights’ response”. Kindly note that for those who wish to attend the conference physically/in-person, it is required that you cover your own costs (air tickets, accommodation, transport, etc). The Centre will cover costs of conferencing. For those who wish to attend the conference virtually, you are simply requested to fill out the Google form, and the zoom link will be emailed to you.

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.

The main focus of the conference will be on respecting, protecting, promoting and fulfilling the rights of persons with disabilities who migrate or are displaced. The conference has two main objectives: 1) to critically appraise laws, policies, practices, programmes, polities and ideologies that relate to migration and displacement of persons with disabilities in Africa and 2) to suggest remedial responses (domestically, regionally and globally) to address violations of the rights of persons with disabilities as migrants and internally displaced persons (IDPs).

he Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities ushered in a transformative human rights approach to disability. It constitutes a shift from medical to a social model of disability. Article 11 of CRPD also calls for States Parties to take all necessary measures to ensure the protection and safety of persons with disabilities in situations of risk, including situations of armed conflict, humanitarian emergencies and the occurrence of natural disasters. The African Disability Rights Protocol and the African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa (Kampala Convention) contains several provisions that can be used to advance the respect, protection and, ultimately, fulfil the rights of persons with disabilities in situations of risks. Notably, they require States Parties to protect the rights of all persons, including disabled persons against being arbitrarily displaced and, in so doing, to respect provisions of international law that are relevant for the protection of IDPs.

Persons with disabilities who migrate or are displaced experience numerous violations of their human rights. Environmental disasters and conflict situations in Africa and across the globe serve as push factors for the migration and displacement of people. They create situations of risk to persons with disabilities, severely hindering mobility. Many are left behind in situations with little access to health care or rehabilitation or support services, lack of carers and exposure to violence. Some are forced to move, becoming internally displaced persons living in IDP camps. Others are forced to travel to other countries, risking being declared illegal or subjected to restrictions of personal liberty without access to basic services. Those who move are also at risk of losing documents that are essential to their survival.

Kindly note that sign language interpretation as well as French interpretation will be available during both days of the conference. For those who will be attending physically/in-person (at own cost), kindly email Ms. Sabeeha Majid by 31 October 2022.

For those who will be attending virtually/on zoom, kindly fill out the Google form by 14 November 2022.

For enquiries, please contact

Ms Sabeeha Majid
Project Officer: Disability Rights Unit

Tel: +27 (0)12 420 6345


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