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Alarm Over Human Rights Violations Against PWDs

Human rights pressure group, the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) has expressed concern over increased human rights violations perpetrated against People with Disabilities (PWDs).

In a fact sheet report, the pressure group said PWDs continue to be the vulnerable group as they are viewed as a charity case.

“ZPP notes with concern that there has been an increase in civil, political and socio-economic rights violations in the months of June and July 2022. Victims of human rights violations included Persons with Disabilities (PWDs). Female PWDs made up 0.14% and male PWDs 0.13% percent of victims of socioeconomic and civil and political rights in the month of July.

“PWDs have continued to be a vulnerable constituency by being victims of violations to socio-economic rights they should enjoy. ZPP notes with concern, 31 cases where food and other aid distribution was politicised in which cases PWDs were victims in the period under review.  

“On the 15th of July ZPP recorded an incident in which the Bulawayo Municipal Police (BMP) went around arresting and confiscating goods of vendors for selling from undesignated sites. ZPP also detected that it was a joint operation where police officers were arresting vendors who were accused of operating spaza shops illegally without licenses,” ZPP said

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The pressure group added “The fact that society continues to view them as charity cases makes them vulnerable and a target of law enforcement agents. The fact that the human rights violations are perpetrated by state security and personnel, PWDs have become more and more vulnerable to human rights violations without any form of protection or any source of recourse.”

ZPP among other measures called for the sensitization of law enforcement agents on how to deal with issues involving PWDs.

“Law enforcement agents should invest in training and sensitizing their officers on how to deal with issues involving PWDs. State institutions should take advantage of the recently concluded Population and Housing Census to map areas where there are PWDs and adopt measures that facilitate for the removal of barriers that create and enhance disability.

“The Population and Housing Census of 2022 Report as well as the National Disability Policy should complement each other to provide opportunities in line with the Constitution for decent work, protection of labour rights, access to information, education, healthcare, housing and access to justice,” ZPP said.

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