Human Rights

Power fights prejudice, human rights violations and abuse against people with disabilities.

Most people with disabilities live in the most deplorable conditions, isolated and excluded from their communities by barriers of policy, environment and cultural stigma. These barriers place them at far greater risk of discrimination, abuse, and poverty. 

People with disabilities, particularly women and girls, are consistently ranked among the poorest of the poor, yet continue to be overlooked, are often denied access to basic services such as primary health care, education, employment, housing, and many are vulnerable to significant abuse and violence. Many women with disabilities are denied their right to found and maintain a family, and are exposed to inhumane or degrading treatment such as sterilization.

Human rights as they relate to people with disabilities is a core theme of POWER’s work. We have a strong legal and programming expertise, and are able to support our partners to:

  • generate evidence-based information on discrimination and the abuse of disabled people’s human rights;
  • to use the law as an effective tool to advance the rights of people with disabilities;
  • activate domestic and international litigation routes to enforce rights of people with disabilities;
  • hold individual establishments and government agencies and departments accountable to people with disabilities;
  • monitor compliance with domestic and international laws most notably the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities;
  • advocate and support law reform.

Power has developed a specialist methodology to challenge the daily discrimination and systematic exclusion that define the lives of the vast majority of people with disabilities in the developing world. It is a unique, strategic, integrated model of intervention which focuses on both the individual equality issues and the wider institutional obstacles which prevent fuller equality of opportunity for this vulnerable group. The model brings together the disciplines of social work, law, advocacy and capacity building to focus on the fundamental issue of human rights and disability. 

Power’s core staff team has strong experience in delivery of human rights work, and in programme management and support, as well as in paralegal training and skills transfer. Power has established a Legal Affairs Network (LAN) to ensure that legal support is available to our partners. Our Legal Affairs Network has established close relations with Advocates for International Development in the UK and with the Irish Rule of Law in Ireland to draw in quality pro bono legal advice for this critical strand of our work, and has close links with the Southern Africa Litigation Centre based in South Africa who can provide technical assistance in the area of litigation, legal challenge and law reform. LAN supplements POWER’s own institutional capacity in this specialist work.

Relevant Programme Experience
Further details of our human rights work can be found in the programme links below:

  • Zambia: The Advancing Disability Equality Rights Project (ADEPt)
  • Zambia: Independent Monitoring Unit (IMU)
  • Zambia: Legal Reform Programme (LRF)
  • Malawi: Disability Rights Unit of Malawi (DRUM)
  • Mozambique: Advancing civil society’s capacity to monitor and improve access to education for children with disabilities (MAECD)