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Expert Demands Setting up Structures to Prevent PWDs from Sexual Abuse and Exploitation in Workplace

By Esther Olaifa,

Safeguarding Research and Support Hub (RSH) expert has appealed to Civil Social Organistions (CSOs) to put safety system in place for people who work with Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) to prevent Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Harassment (SEAH) in the workplace.

The expert shared this during the first day of the capacity-building workshop on Basics of Safeguarding for Lionheart Ability Leaders International Foundation (LALIF) management, volunteers and staff, organized with support from the Disability Rights Fund (DRF).

Senior Consultant at the Safeguarding Research and Support Hub, (RSH) Mrs. Oluchi Ihedoro, while making her presentation explained that safeguarding is essential to prevent every form of harm like bullying, harassment and discrimination from occurring in the workplace.

Taking about applying the disability lens to safeguarding, Mrs. Ihedoro stressed that appropriate measures must be in place to protect the identities of PWDs and the specific issues they encounter.

She also advised that relevant resources on disability inclusion and creating a culture of inclusion in workplace

Mr. Solomon Okelola, the Executive Director of LALIF shared the objective of the training, saying it is meant to equip LALIF’s staff with the basic knowledge and skills of safeguarding- Child Protection (CP), Preventing Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Harassment (SEAH) to ensure that all the fundamental human rights of its members, persons with disabilities and other at-risk population within the society are protected and upheld.

Okelola said, “safeguarding is everybody’s responsibility and we look forward to everyone putting shoulders to the will in order to do the work effectively.”

“The more people we have working together on safeguarding, the more we are able to prevent all these social ills in our society,” Okelola added

Okelola shared that the knowledge acquired from the training will be practicalised for the benefit of persons with Deaf-blindness in particular and persons with disabilities in the society as a whole because there is presently no other group or individual standing for the interests of Nigerians who have both visual and hearing impairment- the dual sensory impairment known as Deaf-blindness.

He stressed that LALIF is working at ensuring the academic, health, and all-round inclusion of persons with Deaf-blindness in Lagos State, with support from the Disability Rights Fund (DRF).

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