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Support And Inclusion For Persons With Disability In The Universal Periodic Review (UPR)

Support And Inclusion For Persons With Disability In The Universal Periodic Review (UPR)

 By Evaline Waweru

The plight of Persons With Disability (PWDs) cannot be understated and thus the need to amplify their voices at every opportunity. Their right to participation can only be enhanced by Society’s efforts to make them equitable beneficiaries to essential services and platforms for voicing their needs.    
The Kenyan constitution has provided the platform to safeguard and strengthen the enjoyment of rights by PWDs. However, there is still need for continuous sensitization of communities and decision makers on the need for inclusion of these categories of persons in development agenda.   As a country, we need to take advantage of our culturally diverse populous within the growing information age to break the stigma and neglect that PWDs face in Kenya.   
In the last census carried out in 2009, the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) recorded 1.3 million PWDs which was about 3.5% of the population at the time. Stakeholders however believed that the numbers were higher than that and thus took to efforts at ensuring they are better recorded and communities are able to share information on PWDs among them.
One of the ways that the Country is mandated to report on efforts at safeguarding the rights of PWDs is during the International Reporting mechanisms, mostly during the Universal Periodic Reviews (UPR). Kenya is a signatory to and has ratified the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD). Parties to the treaty will receive recommendations on areas of improvement during each periodic review cycle. Provisions of the Constitution, and other constitutive guide steps at implementing the recommendations. Article 27 of the constitution provides for equality before the law and no discrimination against persons with or without disabilities. It is on this basis that the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, as the National Human Rights Institution prioritizes and champions for the rights of PWDs and has consequently made efforts at bringing together civil society actors to strengthen monitoring of PWD rights and reporting on their progress both locally and internationally.  
During the 2018 Global Disability Summit, Kenya was challenged to demonstrate efforts it has made towards eradicating stigma and discrimination of PWDs as well as public awareness. The continued meetings with civil society partners that are consolidating feedback for the UPR process will go a long way in ensuring the enjoyment of human rights by PWDs.         





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