Public Seminar presented by SANToC on the Right to Rehabilitation for Persons with Disabilities including with ‘invisible disabilities, caused by torture –

  • Venue: 1st Floor Khotso House, Chapel, 62 Marshall Street, Johannesburg
  • Date: Friday, December 3, 2010 Time: 09:00 – 14:00

On 3 December 2010, the South Africa No Torture Consortium (SANTOC) will host a public seminar from 9am to 2pm to highlight the obligations that the South African government has incurred by ratifying the international Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The seminar will focus on the right to rehabilitation of survivors of torture as persons whose disabilities remain largely ignored. Torture surivors will make presentations about their experiences and difficulties in accessing rehabilitation services in order to raise public awareness of the effects of torture and the need for rehabilitation.

The right to rehabilitation is highlighted in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Article 26 explicitly states that ‘States Parties shall take effective and appropriate measures, including through peer support, to enable persons with disabilities to attain and maintain maximum independence, full physical, mental, social and vocational ability, and full inclusion and participation in all aspects of life. To that end, States Parties shall organize, strengthen and extend comprehensive rehabilitation services and programmes, particularly in the areas of health, employment, education and social services, in such a way that these services and programmes.’

Having ratified the Convention, the South African government has incurred the obligation to provide for the right to rehabilitation for persons with disabilities, including measures to promote the physical, cognitive and psychological recovery of affected persons and measures to provide for their social reintegration. The Convention recognises that persons with disabilities are especially prone to become victims of various forms of exploitation, violence and abuse.

In addition to measures to assist persons with physical disabilities, some disabilities are in fact invisible and may have serious social, mental and psychological effects that are not recognised, acknowledged or understood. Torture causes serious functional lifelong disabilities for its victims and survivors. On this commemoration of International Day for Persons with Disabilities, SANToC seeks to highlight the right to rehabilitation for persons affected by all kinds of disability including those who suffer silently, in the absence of appropriate and accessible psychosocial services.

For more information, please feel free to contact the members of SANToC in Gauteng:

  • SANToC Coordinator Ms Megan Bantjes 082 515 3365
  • Khulumani Support Group 011 833 2044/5/6/7 or Ms Zdena Mtetwa 076 134 6845
  • Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation 011 403 5102/3 or Ms Nomfundo Mogapi 082 377 7522
  • Other members of SANToC include:
  • The Trauma Centre for Survivors of Violence and Torture 021 465 7373
  • Institute for the Healing of Memories 021 683 6231
  • The Southern African Centre for Survivors of Torture 011 339 4476
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