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Burkina Faso’s National Strategy and Action Plan for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities ready for final approval

Participants in the meeting standing up and wearing masks. The coordinator of Bridging the Gap in Burkina Faso, Dolores Mattossovich, is among them.

On 29 December 2020, the National Conference for the Validation of the 2021 – 2025 National Strategy for the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (SN – 3PH) and its Action Plan for 2021 – 2023 was held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. The event was organised by the National Multisectoral Council for the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (COMUD/H) in the context of its 2020 Annual Session.

The Conference was attended by the statutory members of COMUD/H, co-chaired by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Human Rights.  The 76 components include the Office of the President, 17 ministries, 13 regional coordinations of persons with disabilities and five national organisations of persons with disabilities. The international community holds two positions and, on this occasion, was represented by the Italian Cooperation through the Bridging the Gap Coordinator, Dolores Mattossovich. They were joined by the members of the drafting committee, making a total of 113 people.

This Strategy (SN – 3PH) and its Action Plan are at the core of the institutional support that Bridging the Gap project launched in 2018 for its partner COMUD/H, the institution mandated to oversee the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in Burkina Faso and operates under the presidency of the Minister of Women, National Solidarity, Family and Emergencies (MFSNFAH). In 2020 UNICEF joined this initiative to provide additional support for the production of the Action Plan.

The 2021-2025 Strategy reflects the paradigm shift that is taking place in the country in terms of promoting the rights of persons with disabilities. This change has also been promoted by the various seminars, workshops and capacity building meetings held over the last two years with the support of Bridging the Gap.

The SN-3PH focuses on the CRPD, the 2018 Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Africa, the African Union’s Agenda 2063, the 2030 Agenda and the related Sustainable Development Goals. The development of the Strategy and the related Plan has been a process that has brought together different stakeholders, promoted dialogue between institutions at the highest central level and representatives of persons with disabilities and raised the interest of society at large.

The Action Plan, based on the spirit of solidarity, equal opportunities, partnership and participation and respect for the human dignity and fundamental rights of persons with disabilities, provides an overview of the activities scheduled for the coming years and reflects the commitment of the Government and civil society to join forces.

This plan will also serve as a valuable reference for the international community, which must comply with article 32 of the CRPD and ensure the mainstreaming of disability rights in development initiatives.

After this meeting, both the 2025 National Strategy for the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its 2021 – 2023 Action Plan are ready for final approval by the National Commission on Development Policy, and it is expected that Burkina Faso will enter a new, more inclusive phase.