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 assess service delivery through the platform, including the Rwanda Law Reform Commission which was supported to revise the country’s legal framework in line with the CRPD and the Ministry of Justice to develop a Disability Mainstreaming Strategy for the justice sector. The platform also helped raise awareness through national and local campaigns, and supported training of journalists from 12 TV stations on Rwandan sign language to boost access to information among the deaf population. In 2020, a partnership with the National Bank of Rwanda is ongoing to advance access to finance for persons with disabilities.