From Matthew Aramunde, Lagos
The Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), a non-governmental organisation, has tasked the federal government on enhancing access to justice for persons living with disabilities in the country.
The Executive Director of the foundation Mr. David Anyaele made this call at the public presentation of the report carried by the organisation to determine the accessibility of justice to the disabled.
Speaking further, he said the importance of access to justice for every citizen cannot be over emphasized, as through access to justice the rights recognized in international and regional frameworks, which Nigeria is a party to.
His words: “Person with disabilities is not left out of the provision on access to justice, yet they continue to face barriers which hinder their full and effective access to justice on an equal basis with others.
“As a result of disability, people with disabilities are more susceptible and exposed to violations of civil and political as well as economic, social and cultural rights; the low visibility of people with disabilities makes them struggle more in accessing justice and often times leaves them without redress”, he added.
He noted that it is on the premise that the Centre developed and is implementing a project on enhancing access to justice for persons with disabilities in Lagos state with support from Justice for All Programme, which will last for a period of 12 months, stressing that a component of the project is to carry out a study identifying the major challenges faced by the people living with disabilities in Lagos state, in their bid to access justice and came up with numerous recommendations.
He said, “Based on the findings, it recommended that the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Police Affairs, the Inspector-General of Police should be sensitized on the need to strengthen the capacity of the Police to make justice accessible to people living with disabilities, through the provision of access ramps, the training of Police officers on disability rights and the use of sign language for effective communication.