January 18, 2022

WORLD DISABILITIES DAY: NHRC Canvases Equal Opportunities for Persons Living with Disabilities

By Shola Akingboye, 3 December 2021

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.

The Executive Secretary of the Commission, Tony Ojukwu Esq. stated this in commemoration of the 2021 International Day of Persons with Disabilities which comes up on the 3rd of December yearly. He stated that the celebration brings to the fore, the challenges faced by persons with special needs.

This, the Commission noted, will enhance the 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.

“This year’s theme which focuses on “Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 world” is geared towards promoting the importance of inclusion and accessibility in every sphere”, Ojukwu added.

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

The NHRC Boss opined that for Persons with disabilities to function effectively in the post-COVID-19 world, deliberate efforts ought to be made by stakeholders to ensure equal space in decision making, politics, sports, leadership, ICT, etc.

“Full participation of this vulnerable group in societal affairs could be enhanced by creating an accessible environment and structures such as sign language interpreters, ramps, braille signage, lifts, Digital Accessibility Tools for e-inclusion such as electronic brail, etc.”, he stated.

The National Human Rights Commission uses this opportunity to call on the government to ensure that disability interests are mainstream into the newly approved National Development Plan 2021 – 2025 to ensure inclusiveness and that no one is left behind.

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