15 countries that have ratified the African Disability Protocol: Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Mali, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Niger, Rwanda, South Africa, Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, Uganda

PRESS RELEASE: Ratifications of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Africa

The African Disability Forum (ADF) is pleased to announce the good news about ratifications of the African Disability Protocol.

The Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Africa (also known as African Disability Protocol) was adopted by the African Union Heads of States on the thirtieth ordinary session of the AU Assembly held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 29th January 2018. The purpose of the Protocol is to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human and people’s rights by all persons with disabilities in Africa, as well as to ensure respect for their inherent dignity. The Protocol will complement the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), with an African focus by ensuring that persons with albinism, for instance, are not left behind. The Protocol seeks to provide for the rights of persons with disabilities from an African perspective, taking into account the lived realities of persons with disabilities in the continent while maintaining the core values and principles as set out in the CRPD.  

In addition, the African Disability Protocol will promote the adoption and harmonization of national laws and policies, to ensure that their inclusion and access to services and the equalization of opportunism for all citizens. The Protocol is the culmination of the African Union’s efforts to create a framework to safeguard the human rights of persons with disabilities on the continent.

The Protocol is an important tool for the protection and promotion of the rights of people with disabilities in Africa and its ratification will, therefore, provide for effective scrutiny by allowing persons with disability with an avenue to seek redress when domestic law fails to guarantee their rights. The Protocol enters into effect once ratified by a minimum of fifteen (15) African Union Member States.

ADF is pleased to share the great news that the Protocol by now has entered into force following the deposit of 15 ratifications by the following countries:

  • Angola
  • Burundi
  • Cameroon
  • Republic of the Congo
  • Kenya
  • Mali
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Nigeria
  • Niger
  • Rwanda
  • South Africa
  • Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
  • Uganda

ADF, as the representative pan-African Organization of national, sub regional and regional association of persons with disabilities, aspires to see an inclusive Africa where all persons with disabilities and their families have their rights and voices respected and participate actively in the life of their communities and nations as outlined in the Protocol and UN CRPD, has been working together with its partner organizations and stakeholders on advocating for ratification of the Protocol so as to attain the 15 ratifications.

ADF, on behalf of its members, would like to extend its acknowledgement to the countries that have ratified the Protocol and also to the partners who have been working on advocating for coming into effect of the Protocol. ADF congratulates all on the achievement of this milestone and is also grateful to all who have contributed in making this happen.

ADF believes that the coming into effect of this disability Protocol and its implementation enables persons with disabilities in Africa to benefit a lot from the gains of the Protocol.

Mr. Shuaib Chalklen – Executive Director

African Disability Forum

June 25, 2024

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