Government to support rights of persons with disabilities

Wednesday October 17 2012

By ANDREW BAGALA

KAMPALA

The government has pledged to promote the rights of persons with disabilities after Uganda’s nominee was elected to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

Mr Martin Mwesigwa Babu was elected to the committee of experts after nine African countries participated in the election but only Uganda’s nominee was elected.
Mr Mwesigwa polled 66 votes out of the 117 voters and will become a committee member with effect from January 2013 to December 2016.

The UN committee of experts on disability is composed of 18 independent eminent persons that meet on a regular basis to monitor the implementation of the Convention by member states.

The State Minister for Disability and Elderly Affairs, Mr Sulaiman Madada, said the slot is an opportunity “for Uganda to showcase the positive impact government policies such as affirmative action and the corresponding results within the disability movement in Uganda and at international level”.

Mr Madada said they were realigning Uganda’s policies on persons with disabilities to conform to international standards. “The government is currently in the process of realigning its policies and legislation to the convention on the rights of persons with Disabilities. For instance, the Persons with Disabilities Amendment Bill is before Cabinet,” Mr Madada said at the Uganda Media Centre yesterday.

Sending the Bill to Cabinet is a step forward to tabling it to Parliament so that it is referred to a relevant committee for scrutiny. After the scrutiny, the Bill is tabled again before Parliament for debate and either passing or rejected.

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