In Senegal, HI works for an inclusive, sustainable and equitable society that improves the quality of life of vulnerable people, including people with disabilities.
Inclusive education, Senegal - HI | © J-J. Bernard / HI
Actions in process
HI has been present in Senegal since 1995. Its first actions were carried out in the field of functional rehabilitation to enable disabled people to regain their mobility. Since then, some 30 projects have been implemented, most of them located in Casamance, including mine clearance projects between 2007 and 2017. Current projects in the regions of Dakar and Casamance include:
- Prevention, detection and management of impairments relating to maternal, neonatal and infant health issues
- Ensuring that all children with disabilities can attend school and be included in the community
- Enabling professional inclusion of adults with disabilities in the workplace.
- Supporting the improvement of rehabilitation services alongside physiotherapy associations
- Including people with disabilities in the fight against HIV.
Situation of the country
Senegal is a key economic power in West Africa but its wealth is very unevenly distributed. A total of 45.1% of the country's population lives in extreme poverty and people with disabilities represent a large proportion of this group. Furthermore, in the south of the country, in Casamance, the population still lives with the threat of anti-personnel landmines.
The legislative framework on disability in Senegal has changed for the better since 2010, when the country ratified the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. However, transposing the laws subsequently adopted into tangible political actions has been fraught with difficulties. People with disabilities in Senegal face obstacles every day as they try to access health, education and employment services. Victims of discrimination, they continue to fight to have their fundamental rights upheld. HI has been working alongside them since 1995.
The country has also been very heavily impacted by the conflict opposing the Senegalese army to the autonomist movement of Casamance. The conflict, which has lasted for over 30 years, is hindering the country’s development. The proliferation of anti-personnel and anti-tank landmines has made much of the agricultural land in this region inaccessible. A total of 832 mine victims have been recorded since Senegal ratified the Ottawa Mine Ban Treaty ratified in 1988. Of these, 635 survived their injuries and require healthcare, orthopaedic fitting and medical, social and economic support.
The purpose of the convention is to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities. It also aims to promote their inherent dignity.
Recorded victims from 1988 to end of 2013. Source: Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor, September 2014.