People with disabilities constitute on average 10% of any country’s population and are often part of the most marginalised groups in society. Far too often, people with disabilities are overlooked, ignored, and abused by society. Although developmental issues affect most people in southern Africa, people with disabilities face an acute vulnerability to developmental issues and poverty. For instance, poverty is both a cause and a consequence of disability: a lack of access to basic health care or sanitation may lead to an otherwise preventable disability, while a lack of public sector infrastructure and services may leave a person with a disability unemployed and destitute.
The Disability Rights Programme promotes the social inclusion of people with disabilities and works to rights violations faced by people living with disabilities, including discrimination, inadequate access to public facilities, denial of health services, and forced sterilisation.