Members of the Permanent Committee on Gender, Family, Youth, and People with Disabilities, present in Lusaka as part of the Civil Society Engagement on the Model Law on Gender Equality, met with officials at the Zambian Ministry of Community Development and Social Services to discuss issues affecting vulnerable persons and advocate for the ratification of protocols related to their general welfare.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Ms. Angela Kawandami acknowledged the contributions of the Pan-African Parliament in promoting the principles of human rights, democracy and social justice on the continent.
She said Zambia has since made tremendous progress in addressing the issues affecting vulnerable groups such as women, youth, older persons and persons with disabilities, through the commencement of the process to ratify two protocols.
She disclosed that the two protocols are the African Charter on Human and People's Rights on the Rights of People with Disabilities and the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People's Rights of Older Persons.
Congratulating Zambia for strides made with regard to promoting the empowerment of the vulnerable people in society, Hon. Mariam Dao Gabala, Chairperson of the Pan-African Parliament Permanent Committee on Gender, Family, Youth, and People with Disabilities, said it is imperative therefore that Zambia ratifies the protocols in order to domesticate laws to facilitate for effective support to women, youths, and people with disabilities. In this regard, She presented the Permanent Secretary with a copy of the African Model Law on Disability, adopted by the Pan-African Parliament in October 2019.
Meanwhile, Pan-African Parliament Chairperson of the Southern Region, Hon. Pemmy Majodima appreciated Zambia for making deliberate steps to empower older persons, who she said require support as they are pillars of wisdom for a better society.
Other members of the Pan-African Parliament delegation included Hon. Rachel Yassindali (Central African Republic), Hon. Marie Mediatrice Izabiliza (Rwanda) and Hon. Anita Ndayizeye (Burundi), who all expressed satisfaction at measures put in place by Zambia to include women, young, senior citizens and persons with disabilities. They also urged the country to ratify the outstanding protocols.
Zambian officials further told Members of the Continental Parliament that Zambia has also domesticated the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), through the enactment of the Person with Disabilities Act No. 6 of 2012, to promote their participation in civil, and political, economic, social and cultural spheres among other things.
"The committee may wish to note that as we implement the Social Cash Transfer Programme, older persons and persons with disabilities who meet the selection criteria are considered" Ms Kawandami.