The disability community in Ghana is not happy with the government for what it calls a lack of interest in ratifying the African Disability Protocol.
The non-ratification of the protocol is delaying the rights and privileges that persons with disabilities and Ghana as a whole are expected to enjoy under the protocol.
At a meeting in Accra on August 9, 2023, to find new strategies to push for the ratification of the protocol, stakeholders in the disability fraternity expressed frustration at the state’s failure to ratify it despite several engagements and calls on relevant bodies.
The African Disability Protocol is the African Union’s legal framework for ensuring that the rights of persons with disabilities are upheld.
It was adopted by the AU at its 13th ordinary session of assembly of heads of state in January 2018.
The protocol is the African version of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It addresses disability issues within the African context.
It among other things, provides for dealing with harmful customary and traditional practices, and negative African beliefs about disability.
It also has elaborate provisions for the protection of the rights of persons with albinism who are targets for ritual killers in some parts of Africa.
Member countries of the AU are expected to ratify, domesticate and implement the protocol.
The disability movement in Ghana has since 2018 been pushing for its ratification.
In an interview with DisabilityNewsGH on the sidelines of the stakeholders meeting, the Executive Director of Ghana Blind Union, Dr. Obeng Asamoa laments that the Social Protection Ministry is delaying the drafting of a memo to accompany the protocol to cabinet for its consideration and onward submission to Parliament for ratification.
He says, “The drafting of the memo, we don’t understand why that has been delayed. It’s unnecessarily delaying and we don’t know whether it’s because the people don’t have enough interest in the protocol or they don’t see the relevance of the protocol”.
According to him, “There is no reason, no justifiable reason for the drafting of a cabinet memo to delay”.
Dr. Obeng Asamoa calls on the ministry to hasten the process to aid the ratification of the protocol.
The meeting was sponsored by the International Council for the Education of All Visually Impaired Persons (ICEVI).