MDAC litigation workshop in East Africa

MDAC held a three-day workshop on litigating the rights of persons with psycho-social and intellectual disabilities in Kampala, Uganda from 2-4 February.  The need to build capacity of lawyers on the rights of people with psycho-social disabilities and people with intellectual disabilities has always been highlighted in MDAC’s discussions with organisations of persons with disabilities and some lawyers in African countries.

The event aimed to strengthen the skills of attorneys practicing in East Africa to bring cases before domestic, regional and international tribunals to remedy violations of the human rights of persons with psycho-social disabilities and persons with intellectual disabilities. The specific human rights areas on which the training focused were the right to be free from torture and ill-treatment, access to justice, the right to legal capacity, the right to political participation, the right to community living and the right to an inclusive education.

Most participants commented that the training not only provided them with additional knowledge and skills on how to use international law, but it also had a positive impact on attitudinal change. Participants who are already working on cases dealing with people with psycho-social disability and people with intellectual disabilities used this as a forum to discuss their cases. As a result of the training MDAC has begin setting up a network of lawyers in East Africa and looks forward to working with them in litigating strategic cases.

The participants included practising attorneys from Uganda (including lawyers from the Legal Action for Persons with Disabilities), Kenya, and Tanzania and advocates from Mental Health Uganda, Ugandan Parents of Children with Learning Disabilities, and BasicNeeds Foundation Uganda.

The workshop trainers were Lycette Nelson MDAC Litigation Director; Eyong Mbuen MDAC Legal Officer for Africa; Dr. Christopher Mbazira, Associate Dean of the Faculty of Law Makerere University; and Padraig Hughes of London-based Interights.

This event has been supported by a grant to MDAC from Sigrid Rausing Trust.

If you would like to receive more information on our Africa Programme, please contact Eyong Louis Mbuen, MDAC Legal Officer at  



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