GFD urges gov’t to ratify African Disability Protocol

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By Amadou Jadama

The chairperson of the Gambia Federation of Disabled, Muhammed Krubally, has called on the government, civil society and non-governmental organisations to ensure that the country ratifies the Africa Disability Protocol.

The African Disability Protocol is the legal framework based on which AU member states are expected to formulate disability laws and policies to promote disability rights in their countries.

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Krubally who doubles as the principal magistrate at the Brusubi Magistrates Court made this call at the official opening of the Ratification and Implementation of African Disability Protocol held at Metzy Hotel Monday.

According to Krubally, the protocol was conceptualised in The Gambia when the African Union took the decision to adopt the protocol.

He said his federation, which currently consists of 19 organisations, is dedicated to promoting and protecting the fundamental rights of persons with disabilities.

“In light of these circumstances I called on the government, NGOs and civil society to continue standing in solidarity with persons with disabilities and ensure a very quick and successful ratification and depositions of African Disability Protocol. Persons with disabilities alone cannot do it, even though we will continue to raise our voices until we are able to achieve our target. We will come up with concrete and candid facts and good recommendations that will pave a way for us to successfully ratify the African Disability Protocol.”

Mr Krubally said his feederation remains optimistic that the Gambian authorities will expedite the process to ensure that The Gambia becomes the fourth country to sign, ratify and deposit the African Disability Protocol.

Bafou Jeng, a senior state counsel at the Attorney General’s Chambers pointed out that the government has recognised the need of the physically challenged persons to be in compliance with international legal obligations. 

“I can say that we now have a law that is purposely for the promotion and protection of the rights of persons with disabilities,” Jeng said.

Banjul North parliamentarian, Modou Lamin Bah, who is also the vice chairperson of Select Committee on Health, Refugees and Disaster and Humanitarian Affairs disclosed that the National Assembly is ready to be part of any initiative to help persons with disabilities.

Sainey Camara, an official from the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare, expressed similar remarks.