International Disability Day: Group urges state govt. to adopt, domesticate disability laws

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CENTER for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), a non-governmental organisation, has urged state governments to pass, adopt and domesticate disability laws to protect and integrate Persons with Disabilities (PWDs).

Mr David Anyaele, Executive Director of the group, said this in a statement issued on Tuesday in Abuja to commemorate the International Day of Persons with Disability.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the United Nations has set every December 3 as International Day for Persons with Disability (IDPD) to promote a better understanding of disability issues with a focus on the rights of PWDs.

Anyaele noted that not more than seven states in the country had legal frame works to protect the interest and integrate PWDs into the society.

He also said that the Federal Government had failed to enforce and implement the Discrimination Against Persons with Disability Prohibition Act 2019 after eleven months of assent.

According to him, the delays and failures to adopt and domesticate the law is an indirect endorsement of discrimination, marginalisation and other harmful practices against citizens with disabilities.

“It is important for state government to make inclusive plans, strategies and policies to accommodate PWDs and to boost participation of PWDs in governance.

“We never envisaged that eleven months after the passage of the national disability law, there are still delays and failures in the implementation of the provisions embedded in the act.

“We are also concerned that only few states in the country have legal framework that protects citizens with disabilities from exclusion and discrimination on the grounds of disabilities.

“We are more worried that both the federal and states government budgets for 2020 reflected very little or in some no provision were made for the rehabilitation and integration of PWDs,’’ he said.

Anyaele alleged that students with visual impairment were denied access by many state governments to the Nigeria farm craft centre for the blind for training and rehabilitation.

He also decried that anti-corruption agencies had continuously made no efforts to include organisations of PWDs in the fight against corruption, noting that PWDs suffered greatly from corrupt practices in any country.

He, however, appealed to states and non-state actors to help curb and halt the act of marginalising PWDs during preparations and establishment of both short and long term plans, strategies and policies.

He noted that Nigeria, having signed the United Nations convention on the rights of PWDs including it optional protocols, could not achieve growth and development without an all inclusive government.

The director urged anti-corruption agencies to take appropriate measures to involve and construct anti-corruption fights using disability eye-lens.

This, he said would lessen the burden suffered by PWDs as a result of corrupt practices such as diversion and embezzlement of funds for infrastructure that could elevate the lives of PWDs.

He called on President Mohammadu Buhari to establish without further delay the National Commission on Persons with Disabilities to ensure that the purpose of the act was achieved as prescribed by the law.

He also appealed to the leadership of the National Assembly to take adequate measures to ensure that line ministries, departments and agencies make adequate provisions in its budgets for the implementation of the act.

He tasked organisations of and for PWDs not to relent in their efforts to promote and create awareness on disability related matters at all level of government.

The theme for 2019 International Day for Persons with Disability is “Promoting the participation of persons with disabilities and their leadership: Taking action on the 2030 Development Agenda’ focuses on promoting a better understanding of disability issue”.

NAN

– Dec. 03, 2019 @ 16:30 GMT |

 

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