Access to the Criminal Justice System by Persons with Disability in Wolaita Zone, Ethiopia

Kidus Meskele Ashine, Bereket Tessema Zewude


According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are 300 million people with disabilities in the world out of which 210 million (70 percent) live in developing countries. Apart from demographic reasons, the high prevalence of disability in poor countries shows the existence of causal relationship between poverty and disability. Disability is caused and aggravated by poor living condition, such as poor nutrition, lack of health and sanitation facilities and exposure to various forms of accident (WB XX). On the other hand, in poor countries, disability makes it difficult for people to get out of poverty. The main objective of the study was to ascertain a complete picture of the criminal legal services available to people with disabilities and to research possible improvements in the justice issues that affect people with disabilities. Samples of 89 respondents were taken from Wolaita zone using stratified random sampling with proportional allocation to size to select woredas. Both secondary a well as primary sources of data were used. From the descriptive statistics result, regarding level of availability of information on laws and regulations for persons with disabilities argue that difficult to obtain the information and concerning negatively impact on woman ability to physical access to the courts was position of court building take a lion share. The cross tabulation with Chi-square test was employed to analyze the data. The result of cross tabulation with Chi-square test show that age and sex  have significantly associated with personal characteristics negatively impact on person’s disability to access the courts at 5% level of significance.

Keywords: Access to justice, criminal justice, Disability, obstacles, physical access, Wolaita zone

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