Rwanda is going to be the second country after Lesotho to ratify African Commission for Human Rights agreement to protect older persons and persons with disabilities as the United Nations require its member nations.
It has been announced by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government, Dr. Alvera Mukabaramba on Friday July 5th 2019, after opening a continental sensitization seminar on the ratification of two protocols to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
The two protocols are; one on the rights of older people and another on the rights of people with disabilities in Africa.
The purpose of the Seminar is to raise awareness on the existence of the two Protocols and the need for their urgent entry into force through ratification by a minimum of 15 States as required for each.
It was organised by the Working Group on the Rights of Older Persons and People with Disabilities in Africa in collaboration with the Government of the Republic of Rwanda.
This is in a bid to protect older people and those with disabilities so that they may have a better future.
Meanwhile, the participants agreed that countries have not made significant efforts in signing and ratifying the two protocols.
For Rwanda, Dr. Mukabaramba said that the country has not yet finished its internal procedures, but that it is about to ratify them in a near future.
“We were putting all the necessary elements on the protocols regarding the rights of people with disabilities because we had committed to sign them in 2019,” she said.
Regarding the protocols on older people, she said that things are being gathered.
“There are concerned ministries such as the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They are good protocols protecting older people and people with disabilities. Therefore, we are urging participants that this is going to be the last seminar to demand countries to ratify them, but in our case, we are immediately going to sign them,” she said.
Yeung Kam John Sik Yuen, the Chairperson of the Commission’s Working Group on the Rights of Older Persons and Persons with Disabilities in Africa said that they began to organise the two protocols since 2007, and were given to concerned ministers of each country.
He said that the Protocol on Older Persons was adopted in 2015, while the Protocol on Persons with Disabilities was adopted in 2017.
However, he also said that for the Protocols on Persons with Disabilities, only one country has signed while they need many more countries.
“Both protocols are expected to be ratified by all African countries. For older people, we have 13 countries that have already signed them, but only Lesotho ratified them while we need 15 countries to ratify them so that they can be implemented,” he said.
He urged African countries to sign and ratify the protocols, arguing that a lot of efforts were spent in a bid for their ratification across all the countries and they are for the interests of Africans.
The Protocol on the Rights of Older Persons in Africa was adopted by the African Union at its 26th Summit Meeting held from 21 to 31 January 2016 in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia).
Also, the Protocol on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Africa was adopted by the African Union at its 30th Summit Meeting held in Addis Ababa from 22 to 29 January 2018.
However, so far regarding the Protocols on Persons with Disabilities, only 4 countries including the Central African Republic, Burkina Faso, South Africa and Togo signed but none of them has ratified them among 55 African countries.

The Express News

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