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Media Statement: SAHRC seminal establishment of the Disability Advisory Committee

30 September 2022

Attention: Editors and Reporters

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC or Commission) has established the Disability Advisory Committee on the Independent Monitoring Mechanism (IMM). The seminal event marks a culmination of efforts initiated by the Commission in April 2019, to establish an IMM for South Africa. The IMM, under Article 33 of the Convention for the rights of Persons with Disabilities (the Convention/CRPD), seeks dedicated and independent monitoring of the rights of persons with disabilities in each country which has adopted the obligations under the Convention.
The IMM in South Africa, is located within the South African Human Rights Commission and is among the first IMMs in the continent.

South Africa is a party to the Convention and its Optional Protocol since 2007. The Convention aims to ensure that persons with disabilities (PWDs) enjoy all human rights on an equal basis with others. Recognising the need for dedicated attention to achieving protections for the rights of persons with disabilities, the CRPD envisages that an independent monitoring mechanism would assist government and the Commission to monitor and strengthen the promotion of the protection of the rights of PWD.

Article 4 of CRPD provides that States Parties must undertake to ensure and promote the full realisation of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all persons with disabilities without discrimination of any kind on the basis of disability. It is this important obligation of government that requires close monitoring and reform, particularly in light of the high levels of discrimination, poverty, inequality and unemployment. PWD are invariably most severely impacted by all of these conditions. The effects of these worsening socio-economic conditions are even more pronounced on women, children and older persons with disabilities.

The Advisory Committee which comprises diverse experts, activists and academics will begin the work of supporting the Human Rights Commission. In performing its functions, the Advisory Committee will rely on the Human Rights Commission as the recognised national institution through which monitoring, promotion and protection efforts in the country will be reported and brought to the attention of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Such reports provide information to the United Nations which after consideration of information will making recommendations to State Parties, issuing General Comments, holding Days of General Discussion, and consider claims of violations of the Convention from individuals and groups whose State has ratified the Optional Protocol. In terms of the Convention, State Parties are required to report to the United Nations Committee initially within two years and thereafter every four years.

The SAHRC Disability Advisory Committee is chaired by Commissioner Bokankatla Malatji of the Commission, with membership drawn from imminent stakeholders in the disability sector throughout the country following a public recruitment process. The proven commitment and expertise of the members will therefore provide rich benefit for the work before the Advisory Committee.

The seminal launch of the Disability Advisory Committee took place at the Birchwood Hotel, Ekurhuleni from 27 - 29 September 2022.
The SAHRC congratulates The SAHRC congratulates Mr Kamohelo Teele, Ms Moyahabo Thoka, Adv. Alan Mark Small, Ms Marina Clarke, Ms Amanda Gibberd, Mrs Hillary Lane, Mr Andries van Niekerk, Ms Kenosi Sebico, Mr Bongani Yamba, Mr Ntshavheni Netshituni on their appointments as members of the Disability Advisory Committee.



Wisani Baloyi – Acting Communications Coordinator Tel: 081 016 8308 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Alucia Sekgathume – External Communications Tel: 082 689 2364 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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The Human Rights Commission is the national institution established to support constitutional democracy. It is committed to promote respect for, observance of and protection of human rights for everyone without fear or favour.

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