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.
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.