The objective of this program is to advocate for the rights of persons with disabilities in realizing their social, economic and political rights—through legal aid and legal education, awareness creation and capacity building in disability rights policy and law. The following are key concepts that guide the program implementation.
The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRP), relates disability as an evolving concept which results from the interaction between persons with impairments and attitudinal and environmental barriers. It identifies persons with disabilities as those persons who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full participation in society on an equal basis with others. (Africa Disability Alliance, Advocacy Toolkit for Disability Mainstreaming, April 2015).
Advocacy is an intentional prearranged and continued effort to advance an agenda for change. Advocacy entails planned efforts and actions that apply the tools of democracy to establish and implement laws and policies in creating a just and equitable society. These tools include lobbying, negotiation, bargaining, mass mobilization, civil action, court actions and holding of elections. (Africa Disability Alliance, Advocacy Toolkit for Disability Mainstreaming, April 2015).
Inclusion is the practice whereby every person (irrespective of disability, age, gender, religion, sexual preferences race, marital status, health status, ethnic or social origin, culture, belief, dress, language, birth or nationality) can access and participate fully in all aspects of an activity or service in the same way as any other member of the community. (Africa Disability Alliance, Advocacy Toolkit for Disability Mainstreaming, April 2015).
It is a systematic consideration of the differences between the different conditions, situations and needs of disadvantaged groups in all policies and programmes at the point of planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. (Africa Disability Alliance, Advocacy Toolkit for Disability Mainstreaming, April 2015).
Disability mainstreaming is a strategy for making the concerns and experiences of persons with disabilities an integral dimension of the design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of policies and programs in all political, economic, and societal spheres so that persons with disability benefit equally. (Africa Disability Alliance, Advocacy Toolkit for Disability Mainstreaming, April 2015).
According to the UNCRPD, reasonable accommodation means necessary and appropriate modification and adjustments not imposing a disproportionate or undue burden, where needed in a particular case, to ensure persons with disabilities the enjoyment or exercise on an equal basis with others of all human rights and fundamental freedoms. (Africa Disability Alliance, Advocacy Toolkit for Disability Mainstreaming, April 2015). Tanzania validated its commitment to the rights and inclusion of people with disabilities by signing and ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), making the 2004 National Policy on Disability, enacting the 2010 Persons with Disabilities Act and integrating people with disabilities in national poverty reduction strategies. The program ventures into advocating for the fully enforcement of this Act and implementation of the policy at the grassroots level.
Himiza Social Justice intends to establish an Institute for Disability Rights Advocacy (IDRA) which will mainly have a role of training future disability rights advocates/activists. The Institute will provide both online and offline short courses before embarking on long and residential courses.