By Blessing Bature, Abuja
A civil society organisation (CSO), Rights Enforcement and Public Law Centre (REPLACE) has tasked government on need to uphold the fundamental human rights of Nigerians vulnerable people, especially women and people living with disabilities (PLWDs).
The executive director of REPLACE, Barrister Felicitas Aigbogun-Brai, said this yesterday in Abuja that women and Persons Living With Disability are greatly marginalised in Nigeria and called on government for urgent intervention.
Aigbogun-Brai said People with disabilities in Nigeria typically receive little support from the government and instead rely on family members, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and religious groups, adding one of their biggest obstacles is the stigma surrounding their disabilities and challenges for access to justice cannot be overemphasised.
She said: “Out of Nigeria’s estimated population of 200 million, approximately 27 million people live with disabilities. A 2005 study by the Leprosy Mission Nigeria found that, of its 1,093 respondents, 37 percent struggled with visual impairments, 32 percent had limited mobility, 15 percent had reduced hearing and the majority of people surveyed- 61 percent-were unemployed because of their disability.
She appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari for signing disability bill into law, as this law comes into force, activist and organisations now have a significant legal basis for calling on Nigeria to do more for PLWDs, in line with her treaty obligations as contained in the Convention on Rights of Persons with disabilities, saying the passage of this law is a great start by increasing access and protection of people with disabilities in Nigeria and they can now have a greater voice in politics, education and the economy.
Also speaking, Barrister Sarah Rinmicit Garba, said that the basic objective for the formulation of guidelines for government was to formulate workable themes dwelling on the access to comprehensive, achievable and attainable justice for women in Nigeria in order for them to contribute to the development of society.
The chief objective of this guideline is to analyse and formulate workable themes dwelling on the access to comprehensive, achievable and attainable justice for women in Nigeria as well as the issue on gender identity from a constructive perspective, examining whether a reconstruction of gender perspectives would translate to justice for women and empower them to contribute positively to the society, she said.