November 22, 2019

Chairman urges protection for blind children against rape, abuse

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Mr. Danlami Basharu, the Chairman, UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, on Thursday, urged the government to protect blind children from rape, other forms of abuse and discrimination. He made the call at a news conference in Abuja.

According to him, an alleged case of sexual assault on a girl in 2018 by staff in a boarding institution, as well as the death of a boy who fell from a bed, necessitated the call for more protection for people with disabilities.

He said “I cannot be Chair of the UN Committee on Rights of Persons with Disabilities when impunity of this nature happens.

“Nigeria has not yet sent its initial report on the implementation of the Convention to the Committee, seven years after it was due.

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“We witness discrimination on a daily basis against persons with disabilities in spite of the passage of the Disability Act.”

Basharu, therefore, urged the government to immediately make official the report of the investigation and recommendations on the alleged sexual abuse in FCT School of the Deaf, Kuje and FCT School of the Blind, Jabi.

The chairman also said that a monitoring mechanism should be put in place to oversee activities in the schools, as well as investigate alleged cases of discrimination against blind workers.

Ishaku Adamu-Gombe, the National President of Nigeria Association of the Blind (NAB), said all culprits in rape cases and other forms of abuse should be dealt with according to the law.

He called on FCT authorities to immediately investigate happenings in the Kuje and Jabi schools and make public the reports of the previous committee instituted to conduct the probe.

He said “there is a need to investigate human rights abuses in the schools and a kind of monitoring mechanism put in place to ensure that such issues are prevented from recurring.

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The Programme Officer, Disability Rights Fund, Mr. Theophilus Odaudu, called on the government to address challenges bedeviling blind children.

He said “I want to appeal to the government to get to the root causes and see if there are administrative lapses or measures that should have been put in place to prevent any molestation of such students.

“There is a need to ensure that culprits are brought to justice.”