Lesotho signs protocol on disability rights

FamCast News
2 months ago

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‘Mantšali Phakoana

Lesotho has signed the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Africa.

The minister of foreign affairs and international relations, Lejone Mpotjoane, signed the protocol on the margins of the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia this week.

Mpotjoane said the government is committed to promoting dignity and respect for the disabled, and to ensure that the country leaves no one behind.

He noted that Lesotho has been consulting with relevant stakeholders in preparation for ratification of the protocol.

“The government of Lesotho is committed to dealing with the ingrained issues of disability discrimination to ensure that everyone equally accesses health, education and employment.

“To come into effect, this protocol requires ratification by a minimum of 15 African Union Member States. A total of 10 African countries (Angola, Burundi, Cameroun, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Rwanda, and South Africa) have ratified the protocol.

“The Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Africa, also known as the African Disability Rights Protocol, was adopted by the African Union Heads of States during the 13th ordinary session of the AU Assembly held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on January 29 2018,” Mpotjoane said in a statement.

Lesotho ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) in 2008 and has enacted the Persons with Disability Equity Act in 2021, which provides for equal opportunities and recognition of rights of persons with disabilities and related matters.

“Although the UNCRPD is the first comprehensive disability treaty, it does not address some of the unique challenges like the African Disability Protocol does,” Mpotjoane added.

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