June 21, 2024
Equity VoiceRethinking Social Justice through gender and disability justice

Disability,Public Policy and Development…..Where is the Converging point?

There has been increased interest on disability issues at global,continental,regional and national level .The World Health Organization action plan  2014-2021 recognizes the fact that disability is a global public health issue, human rights issue and a development priority. It is in this regard that there has been a lot of work involving the development of disability policies and laws at all levels.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) report on disability released in 2011 15% of the world population are people with disabilities majority who are poor and live in developing countries. Among the Key findings in the report is that People with disabilities face barriers in accessing major public services which include but are not limited to health, education, employment and transport.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) was adopted in New York on 13th December 2006 with an aim of enhancing Opportunities for people with disability to participate in all aspects of social and political life including access to employment, education, healthcare, information, justice, public transport and the built environment.

In Africa the African union governments together with the disabled person’s organizations established the African decade for persons with disabilities from year 1999 to year 2009.The decade was later on extended after its completion to allow for more time to realize her mandate. The African Union disability architecture was also established to lobby for implementation of disability policies across the continent working closely with the Africa Disability forum.

In the East African region the East African Community developed the East African Disability policy in year 2012 to be used in the East African region to promote disability rights.

Kenya enacted the Persons with Disabilities act in the year 2003 which led to the establishment of the National Council for Persons with Disabilities which was mandated to implement the act. Despite the convention, laws and policies that the country has enacted persons with disabilities in Kenya have not yet enjoyed the fruits of the said policies. People with disability (PWDs) in Kenya often find themselves being victims of poor or lack of implementation of disability friendly public policies. The state of poor or lack  of implementation  of disability friendly policies make it difficult for people with disabilities to lead a comfortable life and to access public utilities in the best way possible.

The big question remains….. Are public policies simulators of inclusive development with respect to persons with disabilities or are they merely a Public relation tool by local governments in the face of international partners?

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