1. Disability & the Media

Supported by a grant from the Foundation Open Society Institute (FOSI) in cooperation with the Human Rights Initiative of the Open Society Foundations, CDLP is implementing a project with an overall goal to ‘increase recognition and inclusion of disability as a cross-cutting national development issue in Uganda through receptive coverage by the media’. 

This project emanated from the fact that, over the years, media in Uganda has been extremely negative and ignorant about rights of persons with disabilities; and thus publishes content with all stereotypes which promotes discrimination against persons with disabilities. On the other hand, Disabled People’s Organizations (DPOs) and other organizations working with persons with disabilities have got a limited understanding of the operations of the mainstream media and alternative media for the advancement of rights of persons with disabilities.

In this project therefore, CDLP seeks to address the scant coverage of disability issues in the mainstream and alternative media, the negative portrayal of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in the media, and lack of a concerted and coordinated approach to media engagements by DPOs.

  1. Enhancing the Implementation of UN Treaty Body Recommendations on Disability

In coalition with National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda (NUDIPU) and Uganda Media Women’s Association (UMWA), CDLP has for the past two years engaged in enhancing the implementation of the CRPD in Uganda; and advocating for the implementation of Concluding Observations and Recommendations from UN treaty bodies and other UN mechanisms.

Under this particularly, CDLP developed a National Advocacy Strategy to guide DPOs and other stakeholders in engaging government on the implementation of recommendations and concluding observations on disability from the CRPD Committee, Universal Periodic Review (UPR), and the Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) to Uganda.

CDLP also developed a Tool to Monitor Disability Inclusion in the Implementation of Agenda 2030 and the CRPD Recommendations to Uganda. Purposely, this tool was developed to enable the coalition and other stakeholders in the disability movement to monitor and evaluate; and keep track of all response actions and programs to the recommendations to Uganda on the implementation of the CRPD; and the corresponding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targets and indicators.

  1. Enhancing Comprehensive Data Collection and Statistics Management on Disability

The overall aim of this project is to initiate the process of regular collection, analysis and dissemination of disability related data in the East African region. Article 31 of the CRPD provides for the collection of appropriate statistical and research data on disability to enable the formulation and implementation of policies and programs aimed at realizing the other provisions of the CRPD. The CRPD Concluding Observations on Uganda’s Initial Report on the Progress of Implementation of the CRPD (April 2016) highlighted the absence of systems to collect information on the situation of persons with disabilities in Uganda, including refugees. The absence of disaggregated data on persons with disabilities was singled out in a number of other sections of the CRPD concluding observations, including children, education, health and employment. The Committee therefore recommended to government to systematically facilitate the collection, analysis and dissemination of disaggregated data about persons with disabilities and the barriers they face.

Closely related is the review report on Uganda’s readiness for implementation of 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development (July 2016), which has very limited data on disability issues. This is despite Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 17, target 17.18 requiring States to increase significantly the availability of high-quality, timely and reliable data disaggregated on issues, including disability.

This project is therefore timely for initiating systematic processes for generating data necessary to inform the implementation and monitoring of the CRPD Concluding Observations as well as Agenda 2030 on sustainable development in Uganda. Without this, disability inclusion in government programmes on education, health, employment and other community initiatives will perpetually remain limited. CDLP thus seeks to build the capacity of DPOs and government departments to establish a robust data collection mechanism on persons with disabilities in line with the CRPD to monitor progress towards the SDGs. Furthermore, by singling out article 31 as the center of this project, CDLP seeks to demonstrate to government and other stakeholders that a mechanism for collecting and managing up-to-date data on disability is possible in the region. It must be emphasized that data is vital for planning-decisions, tracking change and monitoring progress of various government program