On 1 July 2022, the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, in conjunction with Validity Foundation, held an Africa regional online consultation on the CRPD draft guidelines on deinstitutionalisation, including in emergencies.
The annotated outline of the guidelines was adopted by the Committee on the rights of persons with disabilities in September 2021. Thereafter the draft guidelines were developed by the Working group on deinstitutionalisation, with the support of the Global Coalition on Deinstitutionalisation of which the Centre for Human Rights is a part of. Once completed, the guidelines aim to provide guidance to states and other parties on how to implement, through the deinstitutionalisation process, the rights of persons with disabilities to live independently and be included in the community, as well as the right to liberty and security of persons with disabilities.
Various stakeholders attended the consultation, including persons with disabilities, their representative organisations, and other civil society organisations. The participants came from several African countries including Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe. There were two resounding concerns that emerged from the consultations; that the guidelines are not attuned to Africa’s historical, economic and social context and are thus rendered impractical. Secondly, it was feared that the political will to implement these guidelines is non-existent in most African countries. These and other comments will now be considered by the working group on deinstitutionalisation in the coming weeks.
The regional consultation was carried out within the auspices of the Committee’s global consultation. Similar consultations have been held by other members of the Global Coalition on Deinstitutionalisation in different regions of the world.
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Ms Auma MI Dinymoi