On Friday, June 12, the International Republican Institute sponsored an advocacy event at the Gulu Disabled Persons Union in support of the Persons with Disabilities Act signed into law in Uganda in 2006. The Act provides for Persons with Disabilities the Right to Quality Education, the Right to Health, and the Rights of Accessibility and certain Employment Protections.
Speakers at the event included several local district councilors, two Members of Parliament (One representing Disability Rights in Northern Uganda and one in Eastern Uganda), and the Minister for Disabilities from the Federal Ministry of Labor, Gender, and Social Development.
The event was well attended by representatives from Gulu, Amuru, and Pader districts, and the tone was hopeful and also supportive of the rights that have been gained in Uganda by Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) only recently.
The conflict with the Lord’s Resistance Army that has lasted for more than 20 years, coupled with substandard health care throughout some parts of the country, has created an area in which the rights of PWDs are incredibly prescient. According to the Minister, there are more than 3 million Ugandans living with disabilities; out of a country with a population of 25 million, that is about 12% of the total population.
The event on Friday demonstrated the strides that Uganda is taking to provide for all of its citizens. The next step would be for a similar event to be held in the nation’s capital, Kampala, in the south of the country; a region which has not seen the amount of violence that Northern Uganda has been subjected to.
Posted By Bryan Lupton
Posted Jun 16th, 2009