The Ghana Disability Organization and the Sitesaver Federation have urged the government to ratify the African Protocol on Disabled Persons (ADP) as a national priority to effectively integrate the rights of persons with disabilities in Ghana and across the African continent. .
The two agencies said ratification would address the political, economic and social challenges affecting people with disabilities (PWD).
Persons with disabilities in general are exposed to harmful practices such as institutional discrimination, social exclusion, rising poverty rates and increased risk of violence and abuse, particularly among albinos, women, girls and older persons with disabilities. Especially so.
Mrs Mawunyo Yakor-Dagba, President of GFD, gave a number of reasons why Ghana should ratify the Protocol on Disabled Persons at a stakeholder meeting in Accra organized by GFD in partnership with Sightsavers.
As she aims to address issues such as customs, traditional beliefs, harmful practices, and the role of families, caregivers and communities, she promotes, protects, and permanently discriminates against people with disabilities. , as well as ritual killing.
She also urged civil society organizations and individuals to join the campaign to persuade the Government of Ghana to ratify the African Protocol on Persons with Disabilities.
Madam Grace Antwi-Atsu, Senior Global Advocacy Advisor for West Africa at Sightsavers, said the Protocol would require the deposit of 15 instruments of ratification by AU Member States for it to enter into force.
She said 11 signatures had been collected as of the last update, including from Angola, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Gabon, Mali, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa and Togo.
She also said five countries, including Angola, Burundi, Kenya, Mali and Rwanda, had ratified the Disability Protocol, adding, “If 10 more countries ratify, the Protocol will definitely come into force.”
Emphasizing that the necessary number of regional ratifications will bring the Protocol into force and enable persons with disabilities throughout the continent to fully enjoy their rights, she urged Ghana to ratify the ADP as soon as possible.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) is the first comprehensive human rights treaty of the 21st century, with the most signatories on day one, but the ADP addresses contextual issues in Africa .
After the UNCRPD, Madam Antowi Atu said that the ADP had taken into account the general comments and observations of the UNCRPD and that it was based on the rights enshrined in the UNCRPD and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
She explained that the text of the Protocol is disability-friendly, with a more descriptive and demonstrative rights-based approach to highlight the uniqueness of the African environment.
The ADP goes beyond the UNCRPD and complements the African Charter on the Rights of Persons and Peoples.