Journey Toward the CRPD in Kenya

A man in a dark suit and tie stands next to a large blue banner that says "CRPD 10: Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, 2006 to 2016, Equality and Full Participation"
  • The Accomplishment

  • What Worked

  • About the Author

The agenda to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in Kenya began some years ago when disabled people’s organizations (DPOs) came together through the United Disabled Persons of Kenya (UDPK) to demand that Kenya ratify the CRPD. The goals were to provide expanded rights and increased opportunities for people with disabilities and to begin benchmarking disability rights achievements.

The Kenya Disability Act of 2003 had awakened a larger disability rights agenda in the country. The disability sector wanted to go beyond this to the international level.

In 2007, Kenya signed the CRPD and in 2008 the country ratified it. In 2011, the Government put together a team of officials from both the state and non-state actors to draft an initial report to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. DPOs in Kenya also submitted a shadow report to the Committee.

Four years later, in August 2015, Kenya was reviewed by the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Geneva. The country delegation was strong and represented both State and non-governmental actors.

In October 2015, we received the report of the Committee with a draft of recommendations for Kenya. The State, working closely with DPOs, instituted a working committee appointed by the principal secretary responsible for disability matters in the country to consider the recommendations of the Committee and develop a national Plan of Action to implement these recommendations. This plan was completed and launched in November 2016, giving direction and holding institutions and organizations or duty bearers accountable for implementing the CRPD in the country in a structured way.

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