Advocacy for Disability Rights

In March 2007 the United Nations opened a new human rights convention, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, for signature and ratification. South Africa was one of the first countries internationally to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which it did on 30 November 2007.

CREATE applauds the South African government for taking its commitment to human rights seriously. Since 2007 CREATE has worked with a variety of people to advocate for the ratification of the CRPD and subsequently to lobby for implementation of the CRPD. We have worked with disabled people’s organisations, traditional leaders, political councillors, municipalities and government departments as well as the Office of the Premier in KwaZulu Natal to raise awareness of the CRPD. We have developed materials to make the CRPD more accessible to people in this province. We continue to lobby for implementation of the CRPD.

Achievements

  • Translation of the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities into isiZulu.
  • Development of a picture version of the CRPD for people who are illiterate
  • Developed the skills of people with disabilities in 8 of KwaZulu Natal’s 11 districts to advocate for their rights and engage with service providers
  • Many local improvements have happened due to CREATE’s advocacy work e.g. a disabled people’s organisation receiving seeds and agricultural implements from the Department of Agriculture and people with disabilities being taken to participate in national sports events by their municipality.
  • Development of a comic in English and isiZulu on the CRPD for use with youth and children
  • Production of a DVD on CREATE’s advocacy work
  • Initiated the process and authored a shadow report from the Umgungundlovu Disability Forum to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Geneva

Future plans

CREATE is planning to train the human rights forum of each district in KwaZulu Natal on disability and the CRPD. In this project we will partner with the Human Rights Directorate of the Office of the Premier of KwaZulu Natal. We have started to work with the South African Human Rights Commission and we also hope that in the future we will be able to bring some cases of the violation of the rights of people with disabilities to the Human Rights Commission and the Equality Court with the help of the Legal Resources Centre. We believe that by testing the implementation of the CRPD legally in South Africa we will be able to encourage government to abide by the Convention that it has ratified.

Working through the CRPD in an advocacy workshop

Working through the CRPD in an advocacy workshop

Rural advocacy meeting

Rural advocacy meeting

Right to Vote meeting with political parties

Right to Vote meeting with political parties