Here are a list of topics which are currently keeping the LNFOD advocacy team awake at night. Please contact the LNFOD advocacy desk if you would like to be involved in our advocacy efforts.
Domestication of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability
Four years after ratifying the UNCRPD, the first legally binding international agreement among countries that protects the human rights of people with disabilities, the government of Lesotho has allocated a budget towards the development of a Disability Equity Act and the implementation of the National Disability and Rehabilitation Policy. This is seen as a huge victory for the disability movement which has been advocating for domestication of the treaty since 2008. This is the first step to achieving LNFOD's vision of a country in which people with disability may enjoy their fundamental human rights and have equal opportunities without prejudice of discrimination.
LNFOD and its partners look forward to consulting with government on the best way forward.
Sign Language Interpreters in Schools
According to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, education is a right which all children must enjoy.
In order for a Deaf child to communicate he or she does so through Sign Language, and in a classroom this communication and learning process is facilitated through the assistance of a Sign Language Interpreter.
Currently, many Sign Language Interpreters are working on an unpaid or volunteer basis and their employment in this vital role means that they are unable to accept other paid work. Hence, there is a chronic shortage of Sign Language Interpreters which compromises Deaf children’s right to education.
We are currently seeking donations from businesses and members of the public so that we may be able to offer these sign language interpreters a stipend as a reward for the essential work they perform.
Social Support for Parents of Children with Severe Disability
Raising a child with a severe disability is a difficult and costly task and many parents are compelled to give up their paid employment in order to become full-time carers as there are few facilities available for children with severe
disability. Currently, there is no government support for parents of children with severe disability. Many parents cannot afford the bus fare to medical care and are reliant on their neighbors for food, clothing and other basic needs.
This has a knock-on effect on the next generation as siblings are often forced to leave school early so that they may contribute to the family’s livelihood.
We ask the government to provide a grant for parents of children with severe disability as well as respite care facilities to assist parents.
Employment creation for people with disability
According to the living conditions study, the unemployment rate amongst people with disability in Lesotho is twice as high for people with disability. Approximately 70% of people with disability are thought to be unemployed. LNFOD and its partners are advocating for affirmative action employment policies which will help PWDs transition from welfare recipients to full participants in the national economy.
The disability movement is also lobbying for capital or financial assistance for PWD's to develop start-up businesses to create self employment.