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UK envoy urges passage of Nigerian Disability Bill

10 December 2015, 10:45Emeka Okonkwo

Abuja - British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Paul Arkwright, has encouraged the government to uphold and promote the rights of people with disabilities.

Speaking on Thursday to mark Human Rights Day, he said people with disabilities faced multiple barriers that stopped them from realising their rights and living with dignity and in accessing services that were usually taken for granted.

“This is something that should worry us all,” said Arkwright.

He said while Nigeria’s constitution enshrined the principle of non-discrimination in recognition of the contribution to society all people made, more still needed to be done.

“I appeal to the relevant authorities to implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its optional protocol by ensuring the passage of the Nigerian Disability Bill into law,” he said.

Also Read:10 things you're too scared to ask a quadriplegic

“The Act will provide for the establishment of a National Commission for Persons with Disabilities which will serve as the platform for the implementation and enforcement of all provisions of the Disability Act.”

The United Kingdom, he said, would continue to work with the Nigerian Government, NGOs and civil society to promote human rights for all including those living with disabilities.

He said the UK Department for International Development has a number of programmes designed to address some of the exclusion people with disabilities have to deal with.

Estimates suggest that 20 percent of Nigeria’s total population of 170 million people are living with disabilities.

“There is a largely negative attitude and strong stigma towards them. Many people with disabilities have no voice, choice or control over their lives and they are often the poorest in their community,” said Arkwright.

- CAJ News

Tags uk disability

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