NGOs and the implementation of the rights of children with disabilities: a case study of Masaka municipality, Masaka district
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This study is about NGOs and their role in the implementation of the rights of Children with Disabilities in Uganda, a case study of Masaka Municipality in Masaka district. Like other countries, Uganda has ratified several human rights instruments ranging from international and regional instruments, among which are Acts, Statutes, Conventions and Charters where the Rights of Children with Disabilities are recognized. More to this, NGOs have been established and supported by the government to provide for the needs of Children with Disabilities and adults alike. Despite all above efforts the rights of children with disabilities are still violated as reported by several studies. The objectives of the study were; to assess the level at which children disabilities with in Masaka Municipality are enjoying their rights, to assess the role NGOs are playing to implement the rights of children with disabilities in Masaka Municipality and to develop a framework within which NGOs can operate to implement the rights of children with disabilities in Masaka Municipality. NGOs/Projects committed to the cause of children can use it to improve on their service delivery to children as a whole. Masaka Municipality in Masaka district was chosen as a case study. Six NGOs that are involved with children in Masaka Municipality were sampled to ascertain whether they were involved in the implementation of the rights of Children with Disabilities. A sample of 36 respondents was chosen of which 6 were NGO/Project coordinators, 15 children with disabilities and 15 parents sampled from USDC an NGO in Masaka Municipality committed to identifying and equalizing the rights of Children with Disabilities. Structured interviews, observations and review of records were the methods used to collect the data. The rights of Children with Disabilities in Masaka Municipality were and are still violated like those of their peers the world over. The findings revealed that the rights of children are abused out of ignorance on the side of the communities, and out of negligence on the side of the government. Some of the rights the study found to be violated were the right to access infrastructure, the right to education, right to health care and rehabilitation. On the role of NGOs in implementing the rights of Children with Disabilities in the Municipality, the findings revealed that a big number of NGOS sampled for the study was not involved with Children with Disabilities. According to the findings, Uganda Society for Children with Disabilities and Compassion International which are the only ones committed to the equalization of the Rights of Children with Disabilities are doing a commendable job. In conclusion children with disabilities in Masaka municipality face similar violations of human rights like their peers the world over. Due to the less involvement of NGOS in the implementation of the rights of Children with Disabilities, their rights are massively violated. Their rights are violated due to the ignorance of the communities on the subject of human rights, and the government’s neglect of its duty to educate its citizens their rights and duties. Some sections of the human rights instruments that are meant to protect the rights of these children are discriminatory in nature hence enhancing violation of their rights. The study recommends the government to educate the communities of their civic rights and responsibilities, in order to respect and protect them them. Amendments should be made in the discriminatory human rights instruments and NGOs dealing with Children with Disabilities should be evenly distributed within the country.