Country Support Platform helps empower persons with disabilities
Since Rwanda ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in 2008, progress has been made through legislative reforms and programme design. However, persons with disabilities continue to be excluded and marginalised - many face challenges in accessing government services and programmes aimed at alleviating poverty and empowering citizens. A comprehensive package that engages all sectors of society is needed to eradicate the many ways in which persons with disabilities are left on the sidelines of development.
UNDP established a multi-partner disability platform in 2019 - a planning, advocacy and knowledge sharing forum that helps multiply effect through co-creation of solutions and implementation of joint initiatives with the government, UN partners, donors, the private sector and civil society. Several institutions and ministries have been supported to mainstream disability strategies and service delivery through the platform, including the Rwanda Law Reform Commission, which revised the country’s legal framework in line with the CRPD and the Ministry of Justice which developed a Disability Mainstreaming Strategy for the justice sector.
The platform also helped raise awareness on disability inclusion through national and local campaigns. Journalists were trained on Rwandan sign language to boost access to information among the deaf population and Organizations of Persons with Disabilities and Disability Rights supported the implementation of various grassroots empowerment projects, focusing on the most disadvantaged.
Ongoing support from partners, including the National Bank of Rwanda, has advanced access to finance for persons with disability and mobilized additional resources for disability inclusion. The UN Country Team in Rwanda and the United Nations Partnership on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNPRPD) are currently contributing to advancing implementation of the CRPD at the country level by focusing on the essential preconditions for disability inclusion across sectors.