December 3, 2023

Dirisu Yakubu

The House of Representatives Committee on Persons With Disabilities has pledged to fully implement the PWD Act.

The committee said the Act would give those covered by the law a sense of belonging.

Chairman of the Committee and member of the All Progressives Congress from Lagos State, Bashiru Dawodu, pledged on Monday at a meeting with children living with disabilities.

Speaking on the theme, ‘Every Child, Every Right,’ the lawmaker said laws are underway to sanction discrimination against PWDs across the country.

“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 and 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 of it must be reserved for PWD,” he said.

Dawodu also noted that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas, has approved the use of sign language in the chambers for effective communications with PWDs who want to be kept abreast of happenings in the Green Chamber.

Earlier, the PWD community in Abuja urged the National Assembly to amend relevant laws to protect children with disabilities nationwide.

The Executive Director, Women and Girls with Albinism Network, Constance Onyemeachi, said children living with albinism are becoming targets for rape and trafficking.

“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.

“She cannot go home, not because her parents are dead. She is seen as a taboo and cannot grow up in her community like any other child just because she was born with albinism,” she said.

Mr Itodo Yusuf, a PWD, said that the law and its implementation are the basis for rights protection.

Yusuf, who is a lawyer, said that he had observed that in all the laws in the country, the right of children with disabilities is not well spelt out.

“Section 16 of the Child’s Rights Act talks about special measures for special children or children with special needs. That limitation is a big problem for us. We need to visit that provision, particularly Sub-section 2 to remove the limitation on funding.

“This is Nigeria and there are resources to go around. If other children can be catered for, children with disabilities or special needs should also be catered for,” he said.

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