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NHRC, ActionAid crave implementation of policies on PWD

By Ameh Ochojila (Abuja) and Gbenga Salau (Lagos)
04 December 2021   |   4:11 am
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has enjoined public and private sectors to ensure full implementation of and adherence to legal framework and policies put in place to promote accessibility and equal participation of persons with disabilities in the workplace and life.

PHOTO: NAN

’95.5% Of Kids With Disability Are Out Of School’
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has enjoined public and private sectors to ensure full implementation of and adherence to legal framework and policies put in place to promote accessibility and equal participation of persons with disabilities in the workplace and life.

This, the commission noted, will enhance enjoyment of human rights as provided in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act 2018 as well as other human rights instruments.

Executive Secretary of the commission, Tony Ojukwu, who stated this in commemoration of the 2021 International Day of Persons with Disabilities, which comes up on December 3 every year, stated that the celebration brings to the fore the challenges faced by persons with special needs.

Ojukwu said the celebration themed “Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 world” was geared towards promoting the importance of inclusion and accessibility in every sphere.

Ojukwu observed that in the post COVID-19 era, the society is expected to embrace inclusion of disability in all spaces to eliminate old societal/behavioural practices inimical to health and the principle of equal opportunity.

To him, for persons with disabilities to function effectively in the post COVID-19 world, deliberate efforts must be made by stakeholders to ensure equal space in decision making, politics, sports, leadership, ICT, among others.

ActionAid Nigeria revealed that 95.5 per cent of children with disability are out of school because of their non-enrollment due to their condition.

It, therefore, called on governments to invest more in infrastructure and public services that meet their needs.

In a statement, yesterday, the Country Director, ActionAid, Ene Obi, said: “We have been working on disability issues prior to 2015 when world leaders committed to achieving SDG4 to deliver equitable, inclusive, and quality education for all by 2030.

“ActionAid Nigeria’s evidence-based approach to work over the years showcases challenges faced by persons with disability, one of which is the disability and gender gaps, impacting on their participation in all spheres of life. The research revealed a broader exclusion for women who are subjected to harmful stereotypes. This means that whatever the challenge faced by persons with disability, women with disability suffer more and are subjected to double discrimination. Poverty and other challenges of exclusion undermine their dignity and places barriers of exclusion in the society. This is the same for children with disability in Nigeria.”

She noted that those who enroll are less likely to complete their education compared to their peers; this is associated with over-crowded classrooms, inaccessible learning environment, lack of facilities to support their learning as teachers are unable to give them the required support.

“These have huge impact on their ability to participate in leadership and overall development of the country. Despite progress made in ratifying the Policy on Inclusive Education in Nigeria, current education resources are insufficient to achieve inclusive education; only two percent of the consolidated revenue fund to the Universal Basic Education Commission is provided for special needs.

“Budgets and plans are not sensitive enough to support inclusion which makes financing inclusive education very difficult.