Imu Report To Government

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Monitoring progress of implementation of CRPD periodic report to government

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Imu Report To Government

  1. 1. ZAMBIA FEDERATION OF DISABILITY ORGANIZATIONS (ZAFOD) INDEPENDENT MONITORING UNIT OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DOMESTICATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES (IMU) PERIODIC REPORT TO GOVERNMENT BY THE IMU, A UNIT TO MONITOR AND ADVISE ON THE DOMESTICATION OF THE UN CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES WITHIN ZAMBIA. Issue 1. December, 2011 Project funded by EUPrepared by Zambia Federation of Disability Organisations on behalfof the Independent Monitoring Unit Steering Committee.
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  3. 3. TABLE OF CONTENTSAbbreviations and Acronyms…………………………………………………..iiiPreamble…………………………………………………………………………….iv PART A INTRODUCTION1. Purpose of the International Monitoring Unit (IMU).......................12. Objectives of the IMU....................................................................13. Functions of the IMU....................................................................24. IMU and Domestic Legislation.......................................................25. Mechanism for the Domestication of the CRPD.............................36. Stakeholders in the Domestication Process...................................3 PART B PRIORITY COMPONENTS OF ANALYSIS OF THE CRPD7. Priority Components a) General Principles of the CRPD................................5 b) General Obligations.................................................7 c) Women with Disabilities...........................................8 d) Children with Disabilities.........................................9 e) Accessibility...........................................................11 f) Equal Recognition before the Law...........................12 g) Education..............................................................14 h) Health....................................................................1 5 i) Habitation & Rehabilitation....................................17 j) Employment..........................................................18 k) Participation in Political & Public Life.....................20 PART C IMPLEMENTATION AND MONITORING8. National Implementation & Monitoring of the CRPD....................229. Reports by States Parties............................................................2410. Entry into Force..........................................................................24 i
  4. 4. 11. Optional Protocol Issues..............................................................25 PART D SUMMARISED RECOMMENDATIONS TO GOVERNMENT12. Recommendations ......................................................................22 ii
  5. 5. ABBREVIATIONS & ACRONYMSADEPt - Advancing Disability Equality ProjectADD - Action on Disability & DevelopmentCRPD - Convention on the Rights of Persons with DisabilitiesDFPP - Disability Focal Point PersonDPO - Disabled People’s OrganisationIMU - Independent Monitoring Unit on the Implementation of the domestication of the CRPDILO - International Labour OrganisationMCDSS – Ministry of Community Development & Social ServicesOZ - Opportunity ZambiaPWAS - Public Welfare Assistance SchemePWD - Person(s) with Disability (ies)SNDP - Sixth National Development PlanSSI - Sight Savers InternationalZAFOD – Zambia Federation of Disability OrganisationsZANFOB - Zambia Nation Federation of the BlindZAPD – Zambia Agency for Persons with DisabilitiesZLDC - Zambia Law Development Commission iii
  6. 6. PREAMBLEZambia Federation of Disability Organisations (ZAFOD) is an umbrellabody of all disability organisations whose vision is to have a societywhere persons with disabilities, enjoy equal rights and opportunities thatare generally available in society and are necessary for the fundamentalelements of living and development.In order to realise this vision, ZAFOD through the Advancing DisabilityEquality Project (ADEPt) and with the collaboration of stakeholder andpartner organizations carried out extensive advocacy work around theratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Personswith disabilities (UNCRPD). The entry into force of the Convention on theRights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol in May 2008marked the beginning of promoting an inclusive society where personswith disabilities participate fully and equally at all levels.The ratification of the CRPD in itself is not enough to have these rightsrealised. It is imperative for Zambia to domesticate the Convention intolaws, policies and recognised standards; hence the established of anIndependent Monitoring Unit (IMU) to monitor the Government ofZambia’s performance on the implementation of domestication of theCRPD in compliance with Article 33 of the Convention. iv
  7. 7. PART A INTRODUCTION1. Purpose of IMUZAFOD is an umbrella body of DPOs which collaborates closely withvarious stakeholders and partner organisations. It is envisaged thatthrough the IMU, wider consultation with PWDs in the monitoringprocess will be achieved.The purpose of IMU is to assist in the domestication of the CRPD intoZambian domestic legislation. It will do so by scoping and analysingrelevant pieces of existing domestic legislation and policies to identifywhether its provisions are compatible with the CRPD. Where legislationis identified not to be compatible with the CRPD, recommendations willbe made to amend or appeal, where the appropriate, the offendinglegislation. The IMU also intends to assist the State by advising thegovernment on the domestication process and the necessity to introduceenabling legislation to bring about the incorporation of the CRPD intodomestic law.2. Objectives of the IMUThere are both overall and specific objectives of the IMU which are setout below.Overall objective:  To advance the domestication of CRPD in Zambia to achieve improved human rights and equality of people with disabilities;  To assist the State in complying with its international obligations to domesticate the CRPD;Specific and practical objectives: •To monitor and report on the domestication process; •To capacitate civil society (the Zambian Federation of the Disabled – ZAFOD) to independently promote, protect and monitor domestication of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in Zambia. 1
  8. 8. 3. Functions of the IMUThere are a number of functions that the IMU will be engaged in. TheIMU will: •Establish an appropriate independent “Domestication Monitoring System” within ZAFOD; •Establish a framework for engagement and monitoring through the Independent Monitoring Unit (IMU); •Scope/analyze legislation and prioritize areas/sectors for focus and attention; •Develop practical and strategic guidelines and checklists to assist Government of Zambia (GoZ) fulfill its obligations under the CRPD (Article 33); •Raise awareness and promote advocacy on CRPD and disability rights issues; •Protect the rights of persons with disabilities through documenting the inequalities they experience; •Conducting legal case work, referring cases to the legal profession for further advice and/or litigation and preparing, if necessary, cases before international bodies such as the Committee for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.4. Independent Monitoring Unit (IMU) and domestic legislationA critical part of the work of the IMU is the review of existing legislationto assess whether it is compatible with the State’s obligations under theCRPD. While the importance of domestic disability legislation such as thePersons with Disabilities Act No. 33 of 1996 is recognized by thecommunity of disabled persons, the 1996 Act itself is not far reachingenough and it fails to address the many problems that affect disabledpeople in everyday life. Zambia is a signatory to the UNCRPD havingratified it in February 2010 with an international obligation to establish atechnical committee to oversee the domestication of the Convention intodomestic law. The IMU has been established as a mechanism for 2
  9. 9. promoting, protecting and monitoring the implementation of theConvention.5. Mechanism for the domestication of the CRPD - Article 33 of the CRPD identifies three mechanisms that are relevant for the implementation and monitoring of the Convention:First, States have to designate one or more focal points within government for matters relating to implementation; - second, States have to give due consideration to the establishment or designation of a coordination mechanism within government to facilitate actions across sectors and at different levels; - and third, States have to establish or designate a framework that includes one or more independent mechanisms to promote, protect and monitor the Convention’s implementation.(1) The slogan “Nothing about us without us!” requires that States parties both “closely consult with” and “actively involve” persons with disabilities in decision-making processes related to them (CRPD, Art. 4 (3));(2) The Convention requires that “civil society, in particular personswith disabilities and their representative organisations, shall be involvedand participate fully in the monitoring process” (CRPRD, Art.33 (3))6. Stakeholders in the domestication process The stakeholders involved in the domestication process include: •Ministry of Community Development and Social Services (MCDSS); •Zambia Agency for Persons with Disabilities (ZAPD); •Relevant domestic government ministries such as Education, Health, Justice; •Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs); •Zambia Law & Development Commission (ZLDC); •Action on Disability Development (ADD); •The Human Rights Commission; 3
  10. 10. •Opportunity Zambia (OZ);•International Labour Organisation (ILO);•Sight Savers International (SSI);•Zambia National Federation of the Blind (ZANFOB);•Power4Good / POWER International. 4
  11. 11. PART B PRIORITY COMPONENTS OF THE UNCRPD FOR ANALYSIS BY THE IMU7. Priority components The purpose of this Report is to report on the CRPD in general and to identify priority components of it that the IMU sees as critical priorities for the State because they directly affect the social economic and cultural rights of persons with disabilities in a direct and material way. The critical Articles of the CRPD identified by the IMU as being of highest priority are: (1) General Principles (Article 3); (2) General Obligations (Article 4); (3) Women (Article 6); (4) Children (Article 7); (5) Accessibility (Article 9); (6) Equal Recognition before the Law (Article 12); (7) Education (Article 24); (8) Health (Article 25); (9) Habitation & Rehabilitation (Article 26); (10) Work & Employment (Article 27); (11) Participation in Political & Public Life (Article 29); (12) National Implementation & Monitoring (Article 33); (13) Reports by States Parties (Article 35); (14) Entry into Force (Article 45).(a) Article 3 General PrinciplesThe General Principles act as broad guidance to the interpretation andimplementation of the entire Convention because they cut across allfundamental issues that affect persons with disabilities. They are thestarting point for understanding and interpreting the rights of personswith disabilities, providing benchmarks against which each right ismeasured.When considering the General Principles enshrined in the CRPD and itsrelationship with the domestic law of Zambia, it becomes apparent thatissues of equity have not been taken into account in respect of personswith disabilities in the past when legislation has been drafted andconsidered. The General Principles have not heretofore been applied asissues of diversity that arise when dealing with persons with disabilitieshave not been addressed. In particular, the needs of women and children 5
  12. 12. with disabilities have not been recognized nor included in mainstreamservices that have been provided to others.The following General Principles of the CRPD should be applied indomestic legislation and policies of the State: •Respect for inherent dignity, individual autonomy including the freedom to make one’s own choices, and independence of persons; •Non-discrimination; •Full and effective participation and inclusion in society; •Respect for difference and acceptance of persons with disabilities as part of human diversity and humanity; •Equality of opportunity; •Accessibility; •Equality between men and women; •Respect for the evolving capacities of children with disabilities and respect for the right of children with disabilities to preserve their identities.The General Principles have a broad impact on all other Articles of theConvention. • The IMU recognises that the State acknowledges the obligations it has, as evidenced in the SNDP (Chapter 1.3.5), which shows an intention to accelerate the mainstreaming of disability issues in national development in order to improve the lives of persons with disabilities. • The State intends to do this through the development and implementation of legislation, policies and programmes in line with the present Convention (SNDP Disability & Development Chapter: 2011). 6
  13. 13. (b) Article 4 General ObligationsThis Article reaffirms the obligation of States to progressively implementthe economic, social and cultural rights of persons with disabilities butrecognises that the full realization of these rights may be constrained bylimited resources. The government is obligated by the UNCRPD to takemeasures within available resources and, where needed, within theframework of international cooperation to ensure progressive realizationof economic, social and cultural rights. The State should also develop anappropriate plan of implementation.This Article provides for the adoption of appropriate legislation andpolicies that would bring about the realization and enjoyment of allpersons with disabilities of their social, economic and cultural rights.Article 4 also includes an important provision that obligates governmentsto consult closely with organizations representing and/or comprised ofpersons with disabilities in implementing the Convention into domesticlaw and policy. Article 4 can be used by itself or can be read inconjunction with other Articles of the Convention to amend or repeallaws, policies and practices that violate the human rights of people withdisabilities.Critical Area of Concern • It is accepted that the Zambian Constitution recognizes social, economic and cultural rights. However, these rights are considered non- justiciable on the grounds of non availability of resources. • This means that the State cannot be taken to court for failing to make provision for social, economic or cultural rights. As a consequence, a large portion of the population and especially persons with disabilities are denied the full realisation and enjoyment of their social, economic and cultural rights. • An analysis of Zambian legislation reveals many aspects that are discriminatory in nature. Such examples include, the “Wills and Administration of Testate Estates Act” (No. 60 of 1994) which contains a provision that disqualifies people from legal acts based on disability (such as the capacity to make a will). • Another example is the “Electoral Commission Act” (No.24 of 1996) which has no provision to ensure that persons with 7
  14. 14. disabilities are entitled to exercise the right to vote on an equal basis with others. • So too are mental health laws which authorize deprivation of liberty or psychiatric interventions without free or informed consent of the person concerned are some other clear examples of discrimination against persons with disabilities. The IMU believes that psychosocial disability must be included on an equal basis with other types of disability in anti-discrimination legislation.Action Taken by Government • The establishment of a Technical Committee to spearhead the domestication process of the Convention soon after its ratification is one step towards fulfilling the general obligation of government as provided for in Article 4 of the CRPD. • The IMU, however, is concerned that the said Technical Committee has not as yet progressed domestication or developed a roadmap by which domestication could be achieved. • The IMU is also concerned that the Technical Committee has not established any formal mechanism for liaison and engagement with the IMU itself.IMU Monitoring Targets • The IMU intends to target a range of relevant legislation and related policies to have them successfully repealed, amended and/ or reviewed to ensure that they are compatible with the CRPD and so protect the rights of persons with disabilities.(c) Article 6 WomenThis Article recognizes that women and girls with disabilities arevulnerable and suffer multiple disabilities and thus provides for theimplementation of appropriate measures to be taken by the State toprevent discrimination and enable women enjoy their fundamental rightsand freedoms.Critical Areas of Concern • The multiple discriminations faced by women and the appropriate measures to be taken by the state are not stipulated in Article 6. 8
  15. 15. • The preamble recognizes that women and girls with disabilities are often at greater risk, both within and outside the home, of violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation. • Article 16 addresses freedom from exploitation, violence and abuse. It recognizes specific states obligations in both the private sphere and public sphere. • In the public sector, States Parties are mandated to take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social, educational and other measures to protect persons with disabilities, both within and outside the home, from all forms of exploitation, violence and abuse, including their gender-based aspects.Action Taken by Government • The State through the Gender in Development Division set up by the government has provided for the protection of women’s rights in general but has not specifically targeted women with disabilities who suffer multiple discrimination has been provided for. This is reflected in the Anti-Gender Violence Act.Planned Actions by Government • The government plans to mainstream disability issues within the gender policy of the Gender in Development Division.IMU Monitoring Targets • It is a priority target of the IMU to have the rights of women and girls with disabilities mainstreamed into the gender policies and programmes of the State. This priority includes having the recognition of women with disabilities enshrined into the Anti- Gender Violence Act.(d) Article 7 ChildrenThis Article pertains to children with disabilities’ enjoyment of all humanrights and fundamental freedoms on an equal basis with other children.It also requires the primary consideration of the child’s best interest inall circumstances. 9
  16. 16. According to a Ministry of Education report (2000), about 10-15% ofchildren in Zambia are believed to be exceptional, i.e. differing fromothers in mental, physical or social characteristics to such an extent thatthey might need specialized educational services.Critical Areas of Concern • Children according to the World Disability Report should be regarded not in isolation but in the context of the family and social environment. • The State is severely limited by various economic factors coupled with the need to deal with rapid social changes in addressing economic, social and geographical disparities affecting the most disadvantaged groups of children such as children with disabilities among others. (Initial & 1st Periodic Report on the Implementation of the UNCRC: 2002). • There is very little information documented about children with disabilities in Zambia. In the IMU’s view, this proves the lack of seriousness around disabled children’s issues nationally. • There is no legislation that specifically singles out disabled children for specific protection. Domestic legislation instead deals with children in general, particularly with regards to the consideration of the best interest of the child. • Children with disabilities fall under the Public Welfare Assistance Scheme (PWAS) which was established to protect vulnerable groups such as orphans, street and disabled children among others. PWAS was established and administered under the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services (MCDSS). However, disabled children are not considered among the priority beneficiaries. Priority beneficiary children include street children, orphans and those in protective care (ibid).Action Taken • The State through the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development formulated the National Child Policy (2006) which set out to address children’s issues in general including children with disabilities. 10
  17. 17. • There is, however, no deliberate policy or legislative measure to address issues of children with disabilities. Issues relating to children with disabilities are addressed through the National Disability Policy. • Progress in terms of implementation has yet to been seen.Planned Action by Government • This is a critical issue for the IMU and representatives will approach GoZ directly to establish actions planned by Government.(e) Article 9 AccessibilityThis Article is a guiding principle under Article 4 of the CRPD and is atthe same time a stand alone article that is essential in all areas ofimplementation. Accessibility provides for the inclusion of persons withdisabilities on an equal basis with others in all aspects of life and thepromotion of independent living without barriers that would hinderparticipation in that respect.Critical Areas of Concern •There is at present no up to date legal framework to ensure provision of access to physical & social services, communication & information by persons with disabilities. As a result, the right to full inclusion and equal participation is not upheld within Zambia. •Most public roads and many public buildings are not accessible to some categories of disabled people and therefore represent a real barrier to access. •There are no accessibility standards & guidelines for public service. •Lack of access to information and communication represents a major barrier to visually impaired and deaf; there is no Braille or large print in public notices and almost all public service providers would not know how to provide a sign language service.Action Taken by Government 11
  18. 18. •Currently in the process of amending the Urban and Country Planning Act. This Bill will incorporate accessibility issues. •A few government institutions have made some minor adjustments to the structures in line with the recommendations given by ZAFOD after carrying out a disability access audit of a few selected buildings but much more needs to be done.Planned Action by Government •Enactment of the Urban and Regional Planning Act. •Identify and eliminate obstacles and barriers to accessibility in the physical environment, transportation and information communication technology. •Provide training to Disabled Persons Organisations (DPOs) Inspectors on issues of accessibility by Persons with Disabilities.IMU Monitoring Targets •Mainstreaming of disability issues in the Urban & Regional Planning Act. •Adjustments made or legal action taken against relevant public and private bodies. •International standards adopted and adapted to suit the local environment. •Accessibility audits conducted to check compliance.(f) Article 12 Equal Recognition before the LawThis Article prohibits disability as a ground for denying someone theright to exercise their legal capacity, including the right to own andinherit property as well as to have control over their own financial affairs.Critical Area of Concern 12
  19. 19. •Some categories of disabled people are denied the right to exercise their legal capacity, e.g. giving testimony in court, property ownership rights, controlling their own financial affairs, etc. •Persons with disabilities can be excluded from engaging in legal proceedings e.g. defending their rights in court; participating as witnesses in legal proceedings; making wills. •Persons with disabilities have been prevented from engaging in the legal process, e.g. voting. •Persons with disabilities have prevented the legal right of controlling their own medical treatment. Persons with psychosocial disabilities are particularly not regarded as capable of taking part in legal proceedings on the basis of lacking legal capacity. The situation is worsened by the provisions of the Mental Disorders Act (1951) which contains discriminatory terms that further perpetuate the lack of recognition of this right on an equal basis with othersAction Taken by Government •Government is currently in the process of amending the Mental Disorders Act (1951) through the Ministry of Health in conjunction with ZAFOD and MHUNZA. However, there is still nothing done about putting in place mechanisms for ensuring the recognition and exercise of legal capacity of all persons with disabilities on an equal basis with others.IMU Monitoring Targets •Enactment of laws, policies and programmes, including legally recognized mechanisms, to provide persons with disabilities with the support they may require to exercise legal capacity. •Establish legal mechanisms to safeguard the interest of persons with disabilities in circumstances where another person is appointed to represent and act on their behalf.(g) Article 24 Education 13
  20. 20. This Article provides for the right to education of persons with disabilitieson the basis of equal opportunity; ensuring an inclusive educationsystem at all levels and the facilitation of access to lifelong learning.Critical Areas of Concern  The State through the Ministry of Community development and Social Services has come up with a system of providing educational support to disabled children whose parents cannot afford to meet their educational needs. This is done through the Public Welfare Assistance Scheme. However, a large number of children with disabilities are excluded from this scheme due to resource constraints and many are further denied their right to education. Those that are in school attend community schools which in most cases are limited to lower primary education.  Disabled children are less likely to attend school as compared to non-disabled children. This is attributed to the fact that most mainstream schools do not have accessible infrastructure and teaching materials suitable for children with disabilities.  Teachers in most schools do not have the necessary skills to teach children with disabilities.  Systems for identifying and contacting children with special educational needs are not well developed (Initial & 1st Periodic Report on the Implementation of the UNCRC: 2002). This is particularly the case in rural areas and in large urban compounds.Action Taken by Government  Government through the National Child Policy has identified special education as a right for children with disabilities and has introduced guidelines for elevating public awareness of educational and other specialized services.Planned Action by GovernmentIn an effort to promote inclusive education, the State through the SNDPhas planned to undertake the following: 14
  21. 21. •Strengthen and implement training programmes for teachers in special needs education; •Provide education opportunities and skills development to vulnerable persons with disabilities; •Provide adequate educational facilities, services, equipment and materials to persons with disabilities in learning institutions; and •Promote the employability of PWDs.IMU Monitoring TargetsThe following targets have been identified by the IMU: •Increase the number of training programmes introduced for teachers in special needs education; •Establish an effective form of tracking the number of children with disabilities attending school; •Increase the number of persons with disabilities enrolled at all levels of education; •Increase the number of schools equipped with all the necessary special educational needs requirements to suit individual disability needs.(h) Article 25 HealthThe right to health care and provision is a very important right forpersons with disabilities. Article 25 recognises the right to the enjoymentof the highest attainable standard of health without discrimination onthe basis of disability and provides for all appropriate measures to betaken to ensure access for persons with disabilities to health servicesthat are gender-sensitive, including health-related rehabilitation.Critical Areas of Concern •The right to health like any other social, economic and cultural rights in Zambia is non-justiciable. There is no legal mechanism to compel 15
  22. 22. government to ensure that persons with disabilities have access to quality health care services. •Public health services & campaigns are not accessible particularly to those in rural areas. •The right to individual autonomy for persons with psychosocial disabilities is not respected. Thus free and informed consent in the administration of medical care is not respected. •No legal framework in respect of the provision of health care to persons with disabilities is in place.Action Taken by Government •In the area of mental health, the State is in the process of enacting a new law in conformity with the CRPD. •In respect of areas of health care provision, it is unknown whether anything is being done.IMU Monitoring TargetsThe IMU has the following targets in respect of health care provision forpersons with disabilities: •Assist in the enactment of the new mental health law in conformity with the UN CRPD; •Develop regulations that are compatible with the new Mental Health Act; •Develop programmes and policies after the enactment of the Mental Health Act; •Conduct case reviews of individual complaints from persons with disabilities; •Ensure wider review of health related legislation is completed. 16
  23. 23. (i) Article 26 Habitation & RehabilitationArticle 26 establishes measures to enable persons with disabilities toattain and maintain maximum independence, full physical, mental,social and vocational ability, and full inclusion and participation in allaspects of life, through comprehensive habitation and rehabilitationprogrammes, in the areas of health, employment, education and socialservices.“Habitation” refers to deliberate services put in place specificallytargeting persons born disabled in an effort to make the environmentsuitable to their condition. Rehabilitation services on the other hand aretargeted at persons who acquire disabilities.Critical Area of Concern  There are no measures or mechanisms in place for the promotion, availability, knowledge and use of assistive devices and technologies, designed for persons with disabilities, as they relate to habitation and rehabilitation.  It is common practice among employers to dismiss/force retirement on employees who acquire disabilities during the course of their employment by citing medical grounds for dismissal. This has been a major concern among persons with disabilities who have found themselves in such situations as reported and evidenced by cases dealt with under the ADEPt project ran by ZAFOD.Action Taken by Government  At present their does not seem to be any specific action planned by governmentPlanned Action by GovernmentThe government through the SNDP (disability chapter) has made plans inrespect of rehabilitation and independent living and has committed toundertake the following activities: •Provide assistive technology to the disabled; •Rehabilitate existing rehabilitation centres; 17
  24. 24. •Establish, promote and support community-based rehabilitation for persons with disabilities.IMU Monitoring TargetsThe IMU has the following targets in respect of habitation andrehabilitation: • Ensure effective programmes and policies are put in place to promote habitation and rehabilitation services; • Realistic timescale developed to capture these policies and programmes(j) Article 27 EmploymentArticle 27 recognizes the right of persons with disabilities to work and toearn a living by participating in a labour market and work environmentthat is open, inclusive and accessible, including for those who acquire adisability during the course of employment. The country under thedisability chapter of the SNDP has committed to promote EmploymentProgramme for persons with disabilities aimed at creating equalemployment opportunities in decent employment.The policies created to achieve this programme are the following: •Provide incentives to organizations and individuals to enhance employment opportunities for persons with disabilities; •Provide micro-credit to persons with disabilities to enable them undertake entrepreneurial activities; •Develop a mechanism for persons with disabilities to access funds from financial institutions.However, nothing has been achieved so far and these programmes areyet to be implemented.Critical areas of concern •Most persons with disabilities are denied access to employment on the basis of their disability. Others have been unfairly dismissed from work upon acquiring a disability and generally face multiple 18
  25. 25. discriminatory acts. It is for these reasons that there is need to enact anti-discrimination laws and policies applicable to all forms and sectors of employment, and ensure that persons with disabilities are fully covered by these laws on an equal basis with all others. •Persons with psychosocial disabilities are not included in programs to promote full employment and economic empowerment. •Most persons with disabilities are confined to low level positions such as telephone operators and teachers despite their capacity and qualifications to hold better positions. Therefore, it is important that persons with disabilities are employed in public sector jobs for which they are qualified. •Inaccessible infrastructure and technology further disadvantages persons with disabilities with respect to employment opportunities on an equal basis with others.Action Taken by Government • General anti discriminatory provision included in the Employment ActPlanned Action by GovernmentThe State has planned the following actions: •Provision of incentives to organizations and individuals to enhance employment opportunities for persons with disabilities; •Provision of micro-credit to persons with disabilities to enable them to undertake entrepreneurial activities; •Development of a mechanism for persons with disabilities to access funds from financial institutions.IMU Monitoring Targets •Case review of employment related violations reported. •Deliberate policy to provide reasonable accommodation. 19
  26. 26. •Enactment of anti-discriminatory laws, policies and programmes.(k) Article 29 Participation in Political & Public LifeArticle 29 guarantees political rights for persons with disabilities andparticipation in public life on an equal basis with others.Critical Area of Concern • The right to participation in political and public life is to a large extent linked and interdependent with the issue of accessibility. • Inaccessible infrastructure, transportation and information usually has caused barriers to the participation of persons with disabilities on an equal basis with others. • People who are deaf or hard of hearing particularly face communication barriers – for example in many cases information is transmitted through radio stations. Such communication barriers hinder deaf people from participation in public life. Lack of Braille ballot papers means persons with visual impairments is dependent on a third party to cast their vote, which in itself overrides their right to a secret vote. • Discriminatory laws may restrict or even prohibit altogether the right to vote, particularly for persons with psycho-social or intellectual disabilities. Almost all polling stations are not accessible to wheelchair users who also find it difficult to reach the ballot boxes that are usually placed too high. • These and numerous other barriers serve to reinforce the exclusion and isolation of people with disabilities in political and public life, and, more generally, their participation in decision-making in all areas where their interests are affected in both their public and private lives (HUMAN RIGHTS Yes! Manual).Action Taken by Government • The IMU is not aware of any action being taken at present. 20
  27. 27. Planned Action by Government • Review of the Electoral Commission Act to include accessibility concerns raised by PWDs.IMU Monitoring TargetsThe following are the targets of the IMU: •Enactment of new legislation, the Electoral Commission Act; •Support and advocate for measures to be taken to ensure accessibility to voting procedures, facilities and materials; •Increase the number of persons with disabilities participating in the political process on an equal basis with others in politics; •Promote and support persons with disabilities to actively engage in political activity and the political process including assisting them, where necessary, to secure employment including decision making positions. 21
  28. 28. PART C IMPLEMENTATION AND MONITORING8. Article 33 National Implementation & MonitoringArticle 33 is of critical importance for the implementation of the CRPD asit regulates the implementation and monitoring of the Convention indomestic jurisdictions. Pursuant to Article 33, the State shouldundertake the following: •Designate a focal point person(s) dealing with disability issues in government ministries; •Establish a domestic coordination mechanism; •Ensure the participation of civil society and disability people’s organisations.Critical Areas of Concern • Despite the government taking certain steps under Article 33, such as appointing disability focal point persons in all the ministries, most of those appointed lack awareness of disability rights and the actual provisions of the UN CRPD. • The framework within which focal point persons are supposed to operate has not been established, for example, terms of reference for the appointed disability focal point persons have not been drawn up. As a result, the whole purpose of their appointment is to a large degree defeated. • The Government has moved forward by establishing a Technical Committee to oversee the implementation process of domestication with the involvement of civil society and representatives from disability organizations. However, despite putting this in place nothing has been done so far to actually advance the domestication process through this committee.Action Taken by Government •Designation of disability focal point persons and a specific framework within which they can operate. 22
  29. 29. •Establishment of a technical committee with the participation of •Civil society and disability persons’ organisations.Planned Action by Government •Appointment of a Consultant to the Technical Committee in consultation with civil society. •Formulate a roadmap for the Technical Committee’s areas of responsibility.IMU Monitoring TargetsThe IMU intends to achieve the following targets in respect of theImplementation and Monitoring of the domestication of the CRPD underArticle 33: •Support the appointment of identified Consultant; •Carry out a legislative review for the purposes of legal reform; •Prepare a report on the legislation review; •Ensure that “the roadmap” is formulated and implemented successfully; •Engage with partners to assist in drafting legislative reform where necessary; •Advocate for the repeal of defunct or discriminatory legislation or portions thereof, where appropriate; •Provide technical advice and support to partners and the government in respect of their obligations under the CRPD; •Monitor the implementation of the CRPD into domestic law. •Raise awareness of the CRPD among the general public and in particular persons with disabilities. 23
  30. 30. 9. Article 35 Reports by States PartiesArticle 35 requires that concerned governments submit a report to theUN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on theirprogress towards implementing the CRPD. The following proceduresapply in respect of the State’s obligations under Article 35: • The Report should be submitted within two years of the CRPD entering into force and is submitted through the Secretary General of the United Nations. • The report should give specifications of the State’s progress on its obligation with regard to the implementation of the CRPD. • The CRPD came into force in Zambia in March, 2010 thereby giving a submission date of on or before March, 2012.IMU Monitoring Targets • The IMU intends to have the Report submitted within the stipulated time10. Article 45 Entry into ForceThe relevant timeline of the CRPD and its entry into force in Zambia is asfollows: 09/05/2008: Signing of Convention. 14/12/2009: Approval for Ratification by Zambian Cabinet. 05/01/2010: Depositing of Ratification instrument by Department of Foreign Affairs with the UN. 01/02/2010: Ratification 29/9/2008: Optional Protocol Signature [Optional Protocol Ratification: Not Ratified] 10/03/2010: Entry into Force 10/03/2012: Obligation to Report on Domestication (Article 35) 24
  31. 31. 11. Optional Protocol Issues • The optional protocol to the CRPD is a legal instrument that addresses complaints and concerns related to the implementation of the convention thereof. • The Optional Protocol looks into the human rights violations of persons with disabilities and gives an opportunity for the Committee to give recommendations to the State Party concerned on how best to fulfill its obligations. • The Protocol introduces two procedures to strengthen the implementation of the Convention; an individual communications procedure and an inquiry procedure. a) The individual communications procedure permits individuals and groups of individuals in a State party to the Optional Protocol to complain to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities that the State has breached one of its obligations under the Convention. That complaint is known as a “communication.” Upon such a communication being made, the Committee examines the complaint, formulate its views and recommendations, if any, and thereafter send them to the State in question. b) The inquiry procedure addresses complaints related to the violations of the provisions of the Convention by a State party. The state concerned may be invited to appear before the Committee for clarity after which the Committee may designate one or more of its members to conduct an inquiry and issue a report urgently. Where warranted, and with the consent of the State concerned, this inquiry may include a visit to the country in question. After examining the findings of the inquiry, the Committee must transmit those findings, and its own comments, to the State, which then has six months to submit its observations to the Committee. The inquiry is confidential and has to be conducted with the full cooperation of the State concerned. 25
  32. 32. Critical Areas of Concern • Ratification of the Optional Protocol guarantees persons with disabilities a platform for expressing individual human rights violations and discriminatory acts. It is therefore imperative that the country ratifies the optional protocol. • Ratification of the Protocol also shows that the country is committed to ensuring the effective implementation of the CRPD. • The State has only signed but not yet ratified the optional protocol. 26
  33. 33. PART D SUMMARISED RECOMMENDATIONS TO GOVERNMENT12. RecommendationsAfter reviewing and considering the CRPD carefully and the internationalobligations contained therein, the IMU makes the followingrecommendations:1) Having appointed disability focal point persons (DFPP) the State should ensure that these appointments are in line with Article 33, paragraph 1, and should ensure that the appointed DFPP fully understand the CRPD, their mandate and their specific role in its implementation;2) The government should ratify the Optional Protocol as soon as possible to exhibit its commitment to fulfilling the promotion and protection of the rights and fundamental freedoms of persons with disabilities in the State;3) The government through its specific ministries should carry out awareness raising programmes to sensitize their officers on the provisions of the CRPD and disability rights in general;4) The government through its ministries must develop disability inclusive policies and laws that promote participation and involvement of persons with disabilities and reduce discriminatory practices at all levels of society;5) The enactment of the new Mental Health Services Act that promotes and protects the rights and fundamental freedoms of mental health users should be expedited to replace the old discriminatory Mental Disorders Act of 1951. The new law should abolish involuntary admission and treatment of mental health users to Mental Health Institutions;6) The Technical Committee appointed by government to coordinate the work on domestication of the CRPD should be effectively sanctioned by government to proceed with its vital activities – and in particular 27
  34. 34. the overseeing of the work of the Consultants appointed to review different laws for the purpose of domestication;7) The Ministry of Community Development and civil society should seek and work to bring about new disability legislation which recognizes the rights and fundamental freedoms of persons with disabilities, in particular the right to be treated equal before the law, to replace the current act, which does not adequately provide for the rights and aspirations of persons with disabilities;8) The Ministry of Local Government, Early Childhood and Environment should repeal the Town and Country Planning Act and Housing Act forthwith and implement new legislation that will be inclusive and will promote and ensure the protection of accessibility rights of persons with disabilities to public buildings, facilities and services, including roads;9) The Ministry of Education should review the present “Educating Our Future Policy” (1996) and consider replacing it with an Inclusive Education Policy that will promote provision of reasonable accommodation within the general education system and universal design of curriculum, learning materials and teacher training programmes. Such policies should be backed by inclusive education legislation;10) The government, through the Ministry of Health, should ensure, through policy, administrative and financial measures the facilitation for the provision of free medical care for persons with disabilities as close as possible to their homes. This should include access to HIV/AIDS and reproductive health services;11) The government should ensure the equal participation of persons with disabilities in the political and public life sector through the introduction of electoral policies and laws that recognize the rights of persons with disabilities to participate in the electoral process directly or indirectly. This should include the recognition of the right to a secret ballot;12) The Ministry of Labour and Social Security should as a matter of urgency amend the Labour laws, especially the Employment Act, for 28
  35. 35. the purposes of prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability in the work place;13)Government should take deliberate measures including institutional, policy, legislative and financial measures, to ensure adequate provision of matters relating to the promotion and protecting of the rights and fundamental freedoms of women and children with disabilities.In view of the above recommendations, it is essential for the governmentto begin the process of submitting its first report to the SpecialCommittee on Disability of the United Nations for submission in the firstquarter of 2012.Such a process should be consultative and directly involve persons withdisabilities and their representative organizations. 29
  36. 36. BibliographyHuman rights. Yes! Action and advocacy on the rights of persons withdisabilities. By Lord, J. and others. Minneapolis, Human Rights ResourceCenter, University of Minnesota, 2007.Initial & first Periodic Report on the Implementation of the UNConvention on the Rights of the Child. GoZ, Lusaka, Zambia. 2002UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. UnitedNations, Enable: http://www.un.org/disabilities/.Six National Development Plan. Government of the Republic of Zambia,2011. 30

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