The ratification of legal instruments and legislation with regard to people with disabilities and older persons in Africa has come under scrutiny at the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) with calls for governments to ratify the relevant instruments.
This came to the fore at the joint sittings of the Committee on Gender, Youth, Family and People with Disability, and the Committee on Health, Labour and Social Affairs at the PAP headquarters in Midrand, South Africa. Sittings of the Permanent Committees of the PAP began on 6 March and will run up to 17 March under the AU theme of the year “The Year of AcFTA: Accelerating the Implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area.”
Speaking at the capacity building workshop for the continental Parliamentarians, Senior Social Welfare Officer at the African Union Commission, Mr. Lefhoko Kesamang said it is paramount for African countries to address disability within a dedicated framework of legal and institutional provisions.
“It is important to come up with a policy to define the parameters of the rights expected. You are lawmakers and as lawmakers, you make laws within the parameters provided in the legal framework. When we ratify these laws, we are building The Africa We Want. The protocol needs to come into force and enforce the rights of people with disabilities,” said Mr. Lefhoko Kesamang.
The instruments under discussion were the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the PAP Model Disability Law, Plan of Action on Ending Attacks and Discrimination against People with Albinism, and the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Older Persons in Africa.