What is a better way to celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3rd December than by joining efforts to keep up and continue with advocacy work?

In Lusaka, on December 4th and 5th, and in coordination with the African Disability Forum (ADF), Inclusion International (II), and Zambia Federation of Disability Organizations (ZAFOD), the International Disability Alliance held a national workshop for the drafting of the civil society's alternative replies to the CRPD Committee's List of Issues on Zambia, in the lead up to the CRPD Committee's review of Zambia in March 2024. There were around 40 participants from national organizations and other partners based in the country.

Participants of Zambia workshop in a meeting room

This national workshop addressed the importance of the inclusion of persons with intellectual disabilities in reporting processes and advocacy initiatives. To do so, Mr. Mark Mapemba, self-advocate and project manager at Inclusion International facilitated the very first substantive session of Monday, sharing with all the participants the guidance developed by Inclusion International and Down Syndrome International in its Listen, Include, Respect Guidelines.

Participant of Zambia workshop speaking during the meeting

Following IDA's presentations regarding the CRPD Committee, its review cycle, and the use of sources of information for reporting, the focus of the workshop turned to the economic, social, and cultural rights of persons with disabilities. In this regard, the workshop benefited from the participation of staff of the International Commission of Jurists, Mr. Timothy Fish Hodgson and Mr. Wilson Macharia, with experience and expertise in the complex area of litigation on economic, social, and cultural rights in different countries of the region. 

Mr. Hodgson facilitating a session during Zambia Workshop

The International Disability Alliance is thankful to all the partners and collaborators, as well as to all the very proactive participants. Now the work continues towards the finalization of the OPDs alternative replies to the List of Issues to be submitted early next year, some time before an OPDs delegation from Zambia comes to Geneva for the CRPD Committee review of their country.