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HRC conducts training on Disability Act, Convention on the Rights of PWD

February 1, 2017 By Ibrahim Tarawallie

The Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone (HRCSL) with support from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), yesterday conducted training for Commissioners and staff of HRCSL and the National Commission for Persons with Disability on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (CRPD) and the Persons with Disability Act of 2011.

The rationale behind the training, which took place at the Buxton Memorial Hall on Charles Street in Freetown, was based on the fact that the current issues of persons with disabilities have been handle using human rights based approach, wherein disables are rights holders because they are equal in dignity and respect as other people.

According to the Vice Chairperson of the HRC-SL, Daphne Olu-Williams, the training would help both commissions to better understand the provisions of the Disability act, so as to enhance effective monitoring of the implementation of the CRPD and the act, while at the same time serving as a tool for advocacy.

She stated that in 2006, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which immediately entered into force and that in 2008, the optional protocol to the Convention was also opened for signature, marking the beginning of a new era in the purpose of the CRPD.

She said Article 1 of the CRPD stated that the purpose of present Convention was to promote, protect and ensure full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and promote respect for their inherent dignity.

Although persons with disabilities were entitled to the same rights as everyone else, Commissioner Olu-Williams maintained that the adoption of the documents set out comprehensively for the first time, a binding international instrument protecting the rights of persons with disabilities.

“We are happy to work with the NCPD to ensure that the rights of persons with disability are protected and promoted. The facilitator will take us through the act for us to know how to monitor and advocate for the rights of disables,” she said.

NCPD Regional Coordinator-west, Jonathan Conteh said: “For us as a commission working for the wellbeing of disables, we are pleased to partner with the HRC-SL. It is a step in the right direction because human rights cannot be complete without disability issues.”


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