Sudan restates its commitment to the inclusion of persons with disabilities in all aspects of public life
After ten years of the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in Sudan, the National Council of Persons with Disabilities (NCPD), with the support of Bridging the Gap and the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) Khartoum Office, has started a series of initiatives to integrate and enforce the principles set out in the CRPD and to coordinate the legal framework towards disability inclusion over the next ten years.
This necessary action, initially planned for 2019, had to be postponed due to recent events in the country (2018-2020 revolution) and worldwide (Covid-19 pandemic). It was finally resumed in February 2021 when the Transitional Cabinet restated the Sudanese government’s commitment to fully support the inclusion of persons with disabilities at all levels, enforcing international principles of inclusion, equity and equality and making the process accessible to all citizens.
One of these actions is the report on The Status of the Rights of People with Disabilities after Ten Years of Sudan’s Ratification of the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, already validated and ready to be published, which assesses the country’s compliance with the principles of the CRPD, highlighting critical points and emphasising the efforts made so far. The objective of this report is to evaluate lessons learned and produce new recommendations to be incorporated into a new strategy in line with the Transition Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and it is mainly divided into three parts.
The first one introduces the selected objectives, scope and methodology of the action and provides a background context on the situation of persons living with disabilities in Sudan based on the latest population census and the most recent literature available. Additionally, it explores the institutional framework of the country by addressing the governmental and non-governmental entities that play a crucial role in the rights of persons with disabilities.
The second part offers a thorough revision of the rights of persons with disabilities in Sudan according to each CRPD article, exploring the details on the level and the duties of the public authority in recognising, protecting and enforcing the rights of every person living with any form of disability in Sudan.
Finally, the third part illustrates the conclusions of the assessment done over the past ten years of the Convention’s implementation, formulating a range of recommendations based on the directives of the CRPD articles and the current level of implementation in Sudan.
The document concluded with 151 recommendations grouped under nine programmatic goals ensuring equality before the law, equal access to basic services, equal access to economic opportunities, adequate standards of living, equal opportunities for participation in the public life, collection of disaggregated data, and a reinforcing mechanism for ensuring and monitoring the implementation of the internationally adopted principles.
In addition to this report, the National Council of Persons with Disabilities plans to launch other activities supported by Bridging the Gap to initiate a “Review and Reforming process for the mainstreaming of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the National Laws and Policies” with the specific objective of amending the National Law for Persons with Disabilities of 2017, as the Transitional Council of Ministers, chaired by Prime Minister Dr. Abdallah Adam Hamdouk, established in Resolution No. 178 adopted in March 2020.
Accordingly, the National Council for Persons with Disabilities is currently planning to lay the groundwork for the first general meeting of the Council, which will include all cabinet ministers and all 18 governors, to outline the strategic directions and legislative reform processes needed to improve the lives of persons with disabilities in Sudan.
Bridging the Gap will support the inception phase of this process providing the financial and technical support to the NCPD for organising the General Meeting of the Council and incept the institutional process that will review the Disability Act of 2017 and clearly encompass the requirements and obligations stated in the CRPD to ensure that Sudanese persons with disabilities are not left behind.