The efficacy of the law protecting the rights of persons with an intellectual disability in the employment sector in Zambia

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Marebesa, Mauyaneyi
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A new era of persons with disabilities saw a new turn with the entry into force of the United Nations convention on the rights of persons with disabilities (UN CRPD) in May 2008.This convention requires states to move away from an approach that caters for people with disabilities in separate centres towards an inclusive approach. This means that the UN CRPD insists on a Rights Based approach rather than a charity based approach. These rights among others include the right to Employment in the open Labour market alongside non disabled persons. Persons with an intellectual disability have been for a long time been sidelined from mainstream employment compared to their physically disabled counterparts. Yet there has been proof that they are capable to learn and be trained to acquire real jobs. These persons are often not well placed to benefit from this changed emphasis, on inclusion emphasised by the UN CRPD. The Zambian government having ratified all the relevant international instruments concerning the rights of persons with a disability it is expected that by now it would have domesticated these instruments. However this is not the case. This has left persons with an intellectual disability at a disadvantage of securing a place in mainstream employment and benefiting from the changed emphasis on inclusion by the UN CRPD. This paper has endeavoured to recommend to the Zambian legislature and the concerned stake holders on the way forward to facilitate the right to employment and employability of persons with an intellectual disability. The international community is making headway to achieving the rights based approach, Zambia should join.
Handicapped persons(employment) - Law and legislation - Zambia