Marking the International Day of People with Disabilities, the Australian High Commission in Nigeria is advocating for the right of people with disabilities to support their efforts and promote their rights in Nigeria.
The Australian High Commissioner H.E Mr Paul Lehmann, made the call when he told the disability advocate members of the diplomatic community and senior Nigerian officials during a programme organised by the High Commission at the Yar’Adua Centre on Friday in Abuja, empowering people with disabilities.
The Australian High Commission during the event, screened a documentary called, ‘Lowest to Highest’, a short (28 minute) Australian documentary which follows the journey of five disabled Australians as they cycle from the lowest point in Australia to the highest point.
According to the High Commissioner, “An important step for Nigeria to promote and protect the rights of people with disabilities is to ensure there are policies in place to support them.”
The screening of the film was followed by a brief panel discussion tagged ‘The Nigerian Disability Bill and the way forward for the promotion of the rights of people with disabilities in Nigeria.’
The International Day of People with Disabilities was first proclaimed by the United Nations in 1992, and is targeted at the rights and well-being of people with disabilities in all spheres of society and development, and to increase awareness of the situation of people with disabilities in every aspect of life.
The envoy noted that, approximately 80 per cent of people with disabilities live in developing countries, with one-in-five of the world’s poorest having a disability.
“Yet we know that to be effective in reducing poverty, development must actively include and benefit people with disabilities,” he said.
This year’s theme centres on empowering persons with disabilities for inclusive, equitable and sustainable development.