By Kehinde Akintola

The House of Representatives, on Thursday, called for the ratification of the United Nations Convention on rights of persons with disabilities.

To this end, the House urged the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to forward to the National Assembly the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for ratification.

The resolution was passed sequel to the adoption of a motion sponsored by Hon Miriam Onuoha who stressed the need for the domestication of the convention which seeks to end all forms of discrimination and deprivation being meted against people living with disabilities in the country.

“The House notes that the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol (A/RES/611106) was adopted on 13 December 2006 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York and was opened for signatures on 30 March 2007 and Nigeria is a signatory to the convention.

“The House also notes that the Convention follows decades of work by the United Nations to change attitudes and approaches to persons with disabilities.

“It takes to a new height the movement from viewing persons with disabilities as ‘objects’ of charity, medical treatment and social protection towards viewing persons with disabilities as ‘subjects’ with rights, who are capable of claiming those rights and making decisions for their lives based on their free and informed consent as well as being active members of the society.

“The House further notes that recognising that the United Nations, in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenants on Human Rights, has proclaimed and agreed that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth therein, without distinction of any kind.

“The House recalls the principles proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations which recognizes the inherent dignity and worth and the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family as the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.

“In other words, emphasising the importance of mainstreaming disability issues as an integral part of relevant strategies of sustainable development.

“The House is concerned that the implication of non–ratification of this convention, on Nigerians with disabilities negatively imparts the full implementation of the contents of its provision within the Nigerian territory.

“The House is cognizant of the need to domesticate the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with disabilities for the wellbeing of persons with disability,” he noted.

To this end, the House mandated its joint Committees on Disabilities and Legislative Compliance to ensure implementation.

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