The Disability Rights Unit

at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria

About the Disability Rights Unit

The Disability Rights Unit at the Centre for Human Rights (CHR) was established in 2012 with its mission centred on finding evidence-based ways of addressing the rights of persons with disabilities in Africa. The unit’s mandate included; conducting research on international and regional disability rights standards and instruments, building capacity among governments, national human rights institutions, academia, civil society organizations and communities, and engaging with judicial, quasi-judicial and non-judicial redress mechanisms.

Since its existence, the unit has acquired excellent knowledge of international and regional disability rights instruments and frameworks through its teaching, training and advocacy programmes, research and publication work and working with different structures of government both at local and regional level.

The unit has significantly contributed to the continent’s disability rights discourse by: participating in the drafting process of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Africa, research and publication, teaching and holding training workshops and conferences on the rights of persons with disabilities.

The key objectives of the unit are to: broaden and promote the understanding of disability as a human rights issue at the African regional and sub-regional levels, promote policy and legislative reforms and advocate for the ratification and implementation of legal instruments protecting the rights of persons with disabilities through supporting disability rights advocacy efforts and promoting the inclusion of persons with disabilities, promote knowledge and understanding about disability as a multi – and interdisciplinary field of study in Africa and promote the education and advance African scholarship disability rights.

To meet the above objectives the unit runs different academic, research and advocacy programmes such as: masters in disability rights in Africa, disability rights scholarship programme, annual short course on disability rights in an African context, annual conference on disability rights in Africa, training of African Union member state senior government officials, supporting the mandate of the United Nations independent expert on the enjoyment of the rights of persons with albinism and publication of African disability rights yearbook.


About the Repository

RODRA is the first repository of its kind in Africa aimed at tracking the development and progress in the provision, protection and promotion of the rights of persons with disabilities in Africa. The repository will preserve and share up to date open access documents on disability rights which will include amongst others; legislation, policy, court decisions and published research by both research institutions and civil society organizations. The repository will also feature latest developments in the African Union (AU) and other African sub-regional organizations.

Donors and Partners

Open Society Foundation

The Open Society Foundations work to build vibrant and inclusive democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens.

The Open Society Foundations are the largest private human rights funder in the world, working to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens. Over the last 37 years, the Open Society Foundations have had expenditures of more than $15 billion.

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