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Nothing for us without us!



THE Convention of Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is a treaty of over 163 signatories, 185 parties, 184 states and the entire European Union. The main objective of the CRPD is to promote, protect and ensure that all people with disabilities have equal enjoyment of fundamental freedoms enjoyed by all persons regardless of their state.

The Convention was adopted on December 13, 2006 and was signed on May 30, 2007 but forced into action on May 31, 2008. It took two years for the act to be implemented and Lesotho was number 42 to ratify and support the treaty.

Though Lesotho signed in support of this law it was still behind in the implementation. Only between February and March 2021 after the LNDB and its co-NGOs reminded the Lesotho government of its obligation concerning people with disability was the Equity Act passed by parliament and signed into law. This was a great achievement because now the UN Convention on The

Rights of Persons with Disabilities was domesticated and was only waiting for its implementation.

The Lesotho Network of Development of the Blind (LNDB) is an organisation that represents all the blind and partially sighted people in Lesotho. The overriding purpose of the network is to work for full emancipation, social integration and employment inclusion of the visually impaired persons of Lesotho.

It was formed by the blind for the purpose of job creation through various self-help projects. It is legally registered under the Society Act of 1966 as a non-profit making organisation.

As the LNDB we are proud that we are representing a marginalised group of persons with disabilities amongst other things. While we do so, it has come to our realisation that political parties in their manifestos do say they will uphold all the rights of everyone including the rights of people with disabilities.

However, we are surprised that in all executive committees of all major political parties, e.g. main executive committee, the Women’s League and Youth’s Leagues, people with disabilities are not represented.

They have instead committees of women and youths but no committees of people with disabilities, even though we are regarded as vulnerable and a marginalised group.

We believe that practice makes perfect. How are political parties going to implement issues concerning people with disability without including them from the party level because many of the people with disabilities are also members of these parties?

Our organisation would therefore strongly like to urge the upcoming government to take action in making sure that the UN Convention on The Rights of People with disabilities is implemented and put into action as demanded by the Equity Act of 2021. Nothing for us, without us!!

l Themba Gerard Molikoe is the secretary general of the Lesotho Network of The Blind

Themba Gerard Molikoe

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