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Situational Analysis on the Rights of Children with Disabilities in Uganda - UNICEF Uganda

In Uganda, the policy context relating to disability is forward looking and rights based, broadly considering the situation of adults with disabilities. However, a lack of knowledge and awareness regarding the status of the rights of children with disabilities (CwDs) has been identified (African Child Policy Forum, 2011). This is also true from the research field where the little information that is available is fragmented.

In this framework, this research aims to explore the situation of the rights of CwDs in Uganda. Commissioned by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Uganda, the study’s purpose is to gather and interpret the existing statistical information. It also analyses the extent to which the regulatory and institutional environment enables the realisation of CwDs’ rights in Uganda. It finally extensively map programmes and projects targeting CwDs that succesfully delivered change or are currently implemented. This in-depth analysis of the barriers and bottlenecks hampering the realisation of the rights of CwDs will ultimately guide the UNICEF programmatic response from 2015 onwards.

This research was conducted in Uganda between November 2013 and March 2014. The two UN Conventions on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and on the Rights of the Child (CRC) constituted the theoretical framework against which the situation was assessed. The literature review provided theoretical knowledge while subsequent key informant interviews and an on-field visit aimed to collect the personal perspectives of key stakeholders.

This assessment revealed an incomplete understanding of the situation of CwDs’ rights in Uganda. Data relating to CwDs is scarce and unreliable. The analysis of the legal and policy framework shows that Uganda has broadly domesticated both the CRC and CRPD but faces challenges in implementing disability policies and services. Although the institutional framework to protect CwDs’ rights has been established, weak coordination mechanisms between Government Institutions results in a fragmentation of efforts. The current programmatic responses established by the Government Institutions and key organisations of the Disability and Child Movements are limited in scale and scope. They only address the immediate and obvious needs of CwDs, with only the easy-to-reach children benefitting from these projects. Conclusively CwDs in Uganda are denied access to their human rights and duty bearers are encouraged to challenge this situation.

The study and its annexes are available from UNICEF Uganda website: http://www.unicef.org/uganda/resources_7620.html

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Nadège Riche
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2 October 2014

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