- September 5, 2018

From the 20th to the 23rd August, the Indigenous Persons with Disabilities Global Network (IPWDGN), the Narok South Disability Network and the International Disability Alliance (IDA) held a Workshop on ensuring the rights of indigenous persons with disabilities in line with the UN CRPD, in connection with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (DRIP) and the Agenda 2030, with support from the Disability Rights Advocacy Fund (DRAF) and MFA Finland.

The workshop was a unique opportunity for indigenous leaders with disabilities (IDPOs) from five different counties (Narok, Kajiado, Baringo, Samburu and Bomet) to meet together to discuss critical issues and violation of their rights. The workshop gathered relevant information about the CRPD, UN DRIP and the SDGs and their relevance to indigenous persons with disabilities. Sessions and discussions were presented and simultaneously interpreted into English, Masai and Swahili to ensure all participants and facilitators were meaningfully included.

A privileged moment was the informal discussion with non-indigenous stakeholders, with representatives from the United Disabled Persons of Kenya (UDPK), IDDC member, Ministry of Labour and Social Protection and Kenyan National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR). Only UN agencies based in Kenya were not present in the workshop, despite the repeated invitation.

All participants shared their customs, traditions, but also challenges and barriers, including in regards to the rights of women and children with disabilities, including on issues related to the right to life, legal recognition before the law, right to participate and access to education, among others. The workshop was also a privileged moment for indigenous leaders with disabilities to expand their understanding on how to use the CRPD, UN DRIP and SDGs to foster their rights and development as well as to better understand how to connect with the Global Network of Indigenous Persons with Disabilities.

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