Exploring the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) in Namibia. Perspectives of policymakers and implementers

Gwarega Chibaya, Deshini Naidoo, Pragashnie Govender


Introduction: Namibia signed the UNCRPD in 2007 without any reservation. The country uses a monist system prescribed
in its constitution. Therefore, the UNCRPD became part of the national binding document related to disability. This paper
explores the perspectives of disability stakeholders on the implementation of the UNCRPD in Namibia.
Methods: An exploratory qualitative study using in-depth interviews was conducted in Omusati and Khomas regions,
Namibia. Key stakeholders in disability policy formulation and implementation were included in the study. Policymakers
(n=4), implementers (n=7) and representatives from Non-Government Organisations (n=3) were recruited via purposive
sampling. Data were thematically analysed.
Results: The findings revealed evidence of fundamental national disability rights-enabling strategies. These include
disability rights-enabling environment, national disability policy and legislative framework, and disability rights
enforcement strategies. However, there are setbacks in implementing the UNCRPD in Namibia, such as the challenges
created due to insufficient collaborative and technical capacity, limited aggregated disability data and lack of expertise
and experience to apply UNCRPD concepts to advance disability rights.
Conclusion: The disability sector may utilise policy and legislative framework and disability rights enforcement strategies
to develop an Integrated National Disability Strategy to support occupational freedom and justice for persons with

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