The Protection of Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Higher Educational Institutions of Ethiopia

Alene, Eshetu (2008) The Protection of Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Higher Educational Institutions of Ethiopia. Masters thesis, Addis Ababa University.

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According to the UN estimation, currently, there are more than 650 million persons with different types of disabilities in the world. And in Ethiopia, it is expected to be more than 10 -------Million at national level. But, unfortunately, the number of students with disabilities at higher educational institutions is not known. For the fact that persons with disabilities are human beings, they have the fundamental rights that hlunan society deserves. These category of persons do have the right to learn in higher educational institutions. However, the recognition, protection and enforcement of the rights to education of persons with disabilities may vary according to time, place, economy, culture, social, etc development of a given society or country. Education or learning is considered to be one of the fundamental principles of the Second Generations of Human Rights. It could be considered as the basis for all walks of life for both personal and national development. And when it comes to higher education, it would be the most valuable matter which needs proper protection. This important concept of the protection of general and specific educational human rights of persons with disabilities has somehow been directly or indirectly incorporated in different international, regional, and national legal and policy instruments. Of these instruments, the 1945 UN Charter, the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, different ILO Instruments ,the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, etc are some among others. Ethiopia has ratified and/or adopted most of these different international and regional human rights instruments and included provisions in its constitution on basic rights of persons with disabilities. In Ethiopia, the rights of citizens to equal access to publicly funded services and the support that shall be given to accommodate the needs of persons with di sabilities has been stipulated in the constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia of 1995. Moreover, the Educational and Training Policy of Ethiopia of 1994 further states that attempt shall be made to enable persons with disabilities learn in accordance to their potential and needs. In addition, the Higher Education Institutions Establishment Proclamation of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia clearly declares that persons with disabilities shall get special protection and support during their stay in the institutions. In view of these points, this socio-legal study has attempted to assess and identify the protection of the general and specific educational human rights of students with disabilities in higher educational institutions of Ethiopia. The problems and challenges faced by them in the higher educational institutions are summarized in the following broad areas of focus like: the existence and awareness of legal and policy matters together with their implementation issues, participation in decision making and social conditions, educational issues, matters related with services, accessibility issues, disability-gender based and emotional issues and other general matters which are considered to be important have been mentioned and analyzed in this paper. To achieve the research, I have used different approaches. Accordingly, about five public and two private higher educational institutions were selected. In order to attain the stated objectives of the study, the doctrinal and non-doctrinal methods of legal research have been employed. The qualitative data have included the primary and secondary information. Again, to collect the quantitative data, questionnaires were developed. These consisted of 3 major divisions and more than 60 items, categorized under 8 issues. From the three category of my respondents, persons with disabilities = 68 out of 100 (68%): Administrative bodies =38 out of 50 (76%): students with no disabilities= 77 out of 100 (77%): the sum total = 183 out of250 (73%): have given their response. Inaddition to legislative and documentary materials, interviews with more than 25 concerned bodies, personal case study, direct personal observation, etc have also been held just to supplement the data gathered through the set of questionnaires. Despite the existence of the aforementioned various international, regional and domestic hwnan rights instruments, the findings of this study for all issues have indicated that almost all of the time there have been observed the non-existence of proper internal laws and policies followed by non observance of the educational human rights of persons with disabilities in the sample higher learning institutions. This intern has contributed for the non observance of the other human rights of persons with disabilities. Because, in most cases, persons with disabilities are not given equal opportunities to participate in decision making and social matters neither they have special body to facilitate their demands. Also, as regards the issue of accessibility of built environnlent and facilities, the layout of the most higher educational institutions do not suit to the special needs of students with di sabilities It has again been highlighted that there are very serious shortage of educational materials and equipment in the sample higher institutions. Additionally, financial support and assistance, guidance and counseling, proper library services are almost all nonexistent. Besides, it seems that there are no effective interaction between the students with disabilities and students with no disabilities in the sample higher learning institutions. The majority of students with disabilities express that they are hardly psychologically treated by their instructors, friends and others. So, by now, it is hardly possible to say that there is protection of human rights of persons with disabilities in most higher educational institutions of Ethiopia. This could be said that the educational human rights recognized by the constitution, the Proclamation, etc have not yet been implemented as much as it deserves. Thus, in general, based on the findings and discussions made, the researcher has given his different suggestions like, strengthen the proper participation of persons with disabilities, facilitate the awareness of right holders and the duty bearers; promote possible intervention from the side of policy and law makers, enforcing bodies, interpreters; the society etc; at national level. These could be helpful to solve the problems of persons with disabilities and protect their human rights in different higher learning institutions of Ethiopia.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Africana
Depositing User: Kabiru Wallace Ndung'u
Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2019 09:39
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2019 09:39

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