Dr Samuel Kabue, a member of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD Committee), welcomed the Conference’s thematic focus, which is on legal capacity. He noted that the Committee has been grappling with the concept of ‘legal capacity’, and its practical application, especially in Africa. He lamented the fact that even for states that have ratified, the implementation of the CRPD is impeded by a lack of state reporting, a failure to accept individual complaints and failure to designate national monitoring mechanisms for the realization of the rights of persons with disabilities.
He expressed concern that 45% of outstanding state reports are from African states. He further noted with disappointment that few state parties have ratified the Optional Protocol, thus denying their nationals the competence to bring complaints against their states. Dr Kabue also pointed out that very few state parties have designated a national mechanism to oversee national implementation. Dr Kabue made these remarks at the Fifth Annual Disability Rights in Africa Conference, on the theme “Domesticating the CRPD in the African Region: A focus on access to justice and legal capacity,” hosted by the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria and held from 7 to 8 November 2017.