…Call for Review of Child Rights Act
Persons with Disability (PWD) in Nigeria under the platform of the Joint National Association of Persons with Disability on Monday called for the jettisoning of the discrimination in government employment against their members.
The National President of the Association, Alhaji Abdullahi Aliyu made the call at a media parley organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Disability to chart a road map for the committee’s activities.
Aliyu lamented that people with disabilities are constantly discriminated against during employment in Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) including access to government offices.
The group also canvassed for an amendment of the Child Rights Act and other legislations on discrimination against persons with disabilities as a way of ensuring that such practices are reduced to a minimal level in the society.
He stated that the society discriminates against persons with disability and special needs lamenting that the law makes provision for such persons but they cannot be enforced.
He said that all hands must be on deck from both the legislature and executive to ensure that parents of children with special needs sponsor their education to the highest levels so that they can make contributions to societal development.
Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Bashiru Dawodu, in his intervention pledged the committee’s commitment to ensuring full implementation of the Persons With Disabilities (PWD) Act.
He said that there are still issues of discrimination against PDW saying that plans are ongoing to re-enact the law for stiffer penalties.
The lawmaker acknowledged that there is a huge lacuna in the PWD Act and that amendments alone will not address all the challenges.
He said that the Child’s Rights Act needed to be amended to include the concerns raised by the community. “I want to announce to you that the process to re-enact the PWD Act is already ongoing in the house.
“The input of stakeholders will be collated at the public hearing; the committee will ensure full enforcement of the PWD Act, the law of the land must be implemented.
“We will ensure that any employment made in this country, 5 per cent must be reserved for PWD,” he said.
He disclosed that the Speaker Tajudeen Abbas has approved the use of sign language in the chambers for effective communications with PWD.
Also speaking in like manner, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Disability Matters, Comrade Mohammed Abba Isa said that enough is enough in the exclusion of persons with disabilities in employment in MDAs of government.
He noted that the Disability Act 2018 specifically provided that 5% of employment in MDAS should be set aside for persons with disabilities and enjoined the relevant agencies to abide by it in their routine recruitment of staff.
The Executive Director, Women and Girls with Albinism Network, Ms Constance Onyemeachi said that children with albinism are the first targets for rape and child trafficking.
She said this is because of the myths and superstition surrounding albinism as a genetic condition saying that there are some places in Abuja she cannot enter because of her skin condition.
“There is a child with albinism I met in an orphanage in Kuje Area Council whose parents are still alive but the community wanted to kill the child and the parents had to send her to the orphanage”