Niamey, Niger, 26 to 27 November 2015
African Child Policy Forum ( ACPF) in partnership with the African Disability Forum (ADF) and the West African Federation of the Disabled (WAFOD) organized a two-day Regional Multi-stakeholder Workshop on the Right to Protection for Children with Disabilities at the Gaweye Hotel in Niamey, Niger, from 26-27 November 2015. The workshop aimed at encouraging the uptake of the evidence around child protection, with a particular focus on the protection challenges facing children with disabilities and the corresponding responses and generating multi-stakeholder consensus towards action, including on better ways of mainstreaming the rights of children with disabilities within the agenda of Disabled People’s Organizations(DPOs).
About 50 participants, including representatives of governments, sub-regional economic blocs such as ECOWAS, UN bodies, African Union Commission, DPOs, experts, media and a number of international, intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations participated in the workshop.
The workshop was convened on the recognition that certain groups of children remain disproportionately exposed to violence, especially children with intellectual disabilities, who are three to eight times more likely to be abused than non-disabled children are.
Shikuku Obosi, Inclusion International’s Regional Coordinator for Africa, presented Inclusion Africa’s regional efforts to empower people with intellectual disabilities to make decisions from the time they are young to ensure they have a safe and secure future, even when their parents and caregivers are gone.
The workshop succeeding in drawing attention to, creating visibility and building consensus on, the road ahead towards tackling the protection challenges facing children with disabilities in Africa.
The highlight of the workshop was the deliberation and launch of an African Knowledge and Learning Platform on Children with Disabilities, which will serve as a knowledge and information-sharing platform amongst like-minded organizations on children with disabilities in Africa.