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African Human Rights Law Journal

On-line version ISSN 1996-2096
Print version ISSN 1609-073X

Afr. hum. rights law j. vol.11 n.2 Pretoria  2011

 

The right to economic empowerment of persons with disabilities in Nigeria: How enabled?

 

 

Anwuli Irene Ofuani

Lecturer, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria

 

 


SUMMARY

In many societies, including Nigeria, persons with disabilities (PWDs) are extremely poor and disadvantaged. Economic empowerment is an effective means through which PWDs can fend for themselves and reduce poverty. The article focuses on the right of PWDs in Nigeria to economic empowerment. It argues that PWDs in Nigeria lack the opportunity to economically empower themselves, especially in relation to the Nigerians with Disability Act 1993. It also suggests ways through which PWDs can attain economic empowerment.


 

 

“Full text available only in PDF format”

 

 

* LLB (Benin, Nigeria), LLM (Cape Town); wulis4ever@yahoo.com. The author wishes to acknowledge the assistance of Prof OA Ofuani and Prof Emeka Chianu in proofreading this article.
1 International Day of Persons with Disabilities, 3 December 2009 'Making the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) disability-inclusive: Empowerment of PWDs and their communities around the world' http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=1484 (accessed 10 October 2010).         [ Links ]
2 R Lang & L Upah Scoping study: Disability issues in Nigeria (2008) http://www.ucl.ac.uk/lc-ccr/downloads/scopingstudies/dfid_nigeriareport (accessed 15 March 2010).         [ Links ]
3 CBR 'A strategy for rehabilitation, equalisation of opportunities, poverty reduction and social inclusion of people with disabilities' joint position paper 2004 http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0013/001377/137716e.pdf (accessed 15 June 2010).         [ Links ] See also South Africa's Integrated National Disability Strategy, http://www.indepen-dentliving.org/docs5/SANatlDisStrat.html (accessed 10 October 2010).         [ Links ]
4 WP Khupe 'Disabled people's rights. Where does Zimbabwe stand?' http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=29988:disabled-peoples-rights-where-does-zimbabwe-stand&catid=52&Itemid=32 (accessed 11 January 2011).         [ Links ]
5 As above.
6 'Disability in Africa' http://www.ascleiden.nl/Library/Webdossiers/DisabilityInAfrica.aspx (accessed 16 March 2010).         [ Links ]
7 ILO Fact Sheet 'Promoting the employability and employment of people with disabilities through effective legislation (PEPDEL)' http://www.ilo.org/asia/whatwedo/publications/lang--en/docName--WCMS_106597/index.htm (accessed 20 November 2011).         [ Links ]
8 The Nigerians with Disability Act 1993 (NWDA). The NWDA was originally a decree, the Nigerians with Disability Decree 1993, which was promulgated by the military head of state (General Sanni Abacha) in January 1993. By virtue of sec 315 of the 1999 Constitution, the NWDA, like other existing federal decrees, became an Act. It has not been repealed by any law and is still in force, despite its forgotten status.
9 Art 1 Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) http://www.un.org/disabilities/documents/convention/convoptprot-e.pdf (accessed 20 April 2010).         [ Links ]
10 Preamble para (e) CRPD (n 9 above).
11 CRPD (n 9 above) art 1.
12 D Mont 'Measuring disability prevalence' (March 2007) Discussion paper 0706 http://siteresources.worldbank.org/DISABILITY/Resources/Data/MontPrevalence. pdf (accessed 14 October 2011).         [ Links ]
13 'From exclusion to equality - Realising the rights of persons with disabilities' Handbook for Parliamentarians on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol 14 of 2007 4.         [ Links ]
14 Handbook for Parliamentarians (n 13 above) 13.
15 'Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol' (CRPD Basics) http://www.un.org/disabilities/documents/ppt/crpdbasics.ppt (accessed 9 October 2011).         [ Links ]
16 'A new financial access frontier: People with disabilities - A concept paper from the Centre for Financial Inclusion at ACCION International' June 2010 http://www.accion.org/document.doc?id=830 (accessed 7 November 2010).         [ Links ]
17 CRPD Basics (n 15) above.
18 Handbook for Parliamentarians (n 13 above) 13.
19 As above.
20 As above.
21 NWDA (n 8 above) sec 3.
22 E Helander Prejudice and dignity: An introduction to community-based rehabilitation (1993).         [ Links ]
23 'The meaning of empowerment' http://www.powerfulinformation.org/page.cfm?pageid=pi-empowerment (accessed 30 April 2010).         [ Links ]
24 Helander (n 22 above).
25 'People with disabilities: Pathways to decent work' Report of a tripartite workshop organised by the ILO Skills and Employability Department in Lusaka, Zambia, 9-10 May 2006 http://www.ilo.org/skills/pubs/WCMS_107788/lang--en/index.htm (accessed 13 October 2010).         [ Links ]
26 DV Tsengu et al 'CBR and economic empowerment of persons with disabilities' http://www.asksource.info/cbr-book/cbraspart_04.pdf (accessed 16 March 2010).         [ Links ]
27 'Economic empowerment' http://www.handicap-international.org.uk/page_244.php (accessed 30 April 2010).         [ Links ]
28 CRPD (n 9 above) art 12. See also Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) GA Res 217A (III), UN Doc A/810 71.         [ Links ]
29 'Equal opportunity' http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Equal_Opportunity.aspx (accessed 14 October 2011).         [ Links ]
30 ICRPD - Implementation Tool Kit http://www.icrpd.net/implementation/en/toolkit/ section1.htm (accessed 12 October 2011).         [ Links ]
31 CRPD (n 9 above) art 3.
32 Art 5(1) CRPD (n 9 above).
33 Art 5(2) CRPD (n 9 above).
34 Art 5(3) CRPD (n 9 above).
35 Art 2 CRPD (n 9 above).
36 As above. Art 2 of the CRPD defines discrimination on the basis of disability as 'any distinction, exclusion or restriction on the basis of disability which has the purpose or effect of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal basis with others, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field. It includes all forms of discrimination, including denial of reasonable accommodation.'
37 Art 9 CRPD (n 9 above).
38 International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities - Some facts about persons with disabilities http://www.un.org:80/disabilities/convention/pdfs/factsheet.pdf (accessed 9 October 2011).         [ Links ]
39 L Frieden 'Perspectives on the status of people with disabilities internationally' http://home.comcast.net/~lfrieden/lfriedenperspectives0603.htm (accessed 30 April 2010).         [ Links ]
40 World Conference on Human Rights (June 1993) - Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (1993) 32 International Legal Materials 1661 art 64.         [ Links ]
41 Right to education - What does this mean for us?' http://www.hrc.co.nz/newsletters/manahau/2010/03/right-to-education-%E2%80%93-what-does-this-mean-for-us/ (accessed 6 May 2010).         [ Links ]
42 As above.
43 n 27 above.
44 Art 24(1) CRPD (n 9 above).
45 As above.
46 Tsengu et al (n 26 above).
47 Art 24(1) CRPD (n 9 above).
48 Art 24(2) CRPD (n 9 above).
49 Art 24(3) CRPD (n 9 above).
50 Art 24(4) CRPD (n 9 above).
51 'Kenya Country Profile of March 2004 - Employment of people with disabilities: The impact of legislation' prepared by ILO InFocus Programme on Skills, Knowledge and Employability in the framework of a project funded by Development Co-operation Ireland (DCI) http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/-ed_emp/-ifp_skills/docu-ments/publication/wcms_107837.pdf (accessed 20 November 2010).         [ Links ]
52 See South Africa's White Paper on Special Needs Education of 2001 http://www.info.gov.za/whitepapers/2001/educ6.pdf (accessed 20 November 2010).         [ Links ]
53 n 25 above.
54 'Good practices for the economic inclusion of people with disabilities in developing countries - Funding mechanisms for self-employment' August 2006 http://www.handicap-international.fr/bibliographie-handicap/7Donnees/RapportEtude/Good-PracticesEcoInclusion.pdf (accessed 3 November 2010)         [ Links ]
55 South Africa's Draft Code of Good Practice on Disability in the Workplace http://www.labour.gov.za/legislation/codes-of-good-ractise/employment-equity/code-of-good-practice-on-disability-in-the-workplace (accessed 05 January 2011).         [ Links ]
56 Tsengu et al (n 26 above).
57 Rule 7 United Nations Standard Rules on the Equalisation of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/enable/dissre00.htm (accessed 9 October 2011).         [ Links ]
58 As above.
59 Art 27(1) CRPD (n 9 above).
60 As above.
61 As above.
62 Art 27(2) CRPD ( n 9 above).
63 South Africa's Integrated National Disability Strategy - A White Paper, Appendix B http://www.info.gov.za/whitepapers/1997/disability.htm (accessed 20 September 2010).         [ Links ]
64 JF Kosciulek 'Empowering people with disabilities through vocational rehabilitation counselling' (2004) American Rehabilitation;         [ Links ] see also 'Vocational rehabilitation' http://www.minddisorders.com/Py-Z/Vocational-rehabilitation.html (accessed 20 September 2010).         [ Links ]
65 ILO Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Disabled Persons) Convention No 159 1983 Part I, art 1(1) http://www.ilo.org/ilolex/cgi-lex/convde.pl?C159 (accessed 20 November 2011).         [ Links ]
66 B Dupes 'Vocational rehabilitation: Helping people with disabilities in jobs and careers' http://www.amputee-coalition.org/easyread/first_step_2005/voc_rehab-ez.pdf (accessed 20 September 2010).         [ Links ]
67 R Arora 'National programme for rehabilitation of persons with disabilities - A blend of CBR and IBR' http://www.aifo.it/english/resources/online/apdrj/frimeet202/national.doc (accessed 10 October 2010).         [ Links ]
68 ILO Convention 159 (n 65 above).
69 ILO Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Recommendation 168 http://www.ilo.org/ilolex/cgi-lex/convde.pl?R168 (accessed 20 September 2011).         [ Links ]
70 ILO Convention 159 (n 65 above) arts 2 & 3.
71 Art 7 ILO Convention 159 (n 65 above).
72 South Africa's Draft Code of Good Practice on Disability in the Workplace (n 55 above). See also 'Financial services' http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/financial-services.html (accessed 10 October 2010).         [ Links ]
73 Microfinance involves the provision of financial services to low-income clients and those who have been traditionally excluded.
74 South Africa's Draft Code of Good Practice on Disability in the Workplace (n 55 above).
75 J Goldstein 'Making international microfinance institutions disability inclusive: A call to action' http://wid.org/employment-and-economic-equity/access-to-assets/equity/equity-e-newsletter-november-2010/feature/ (accessed 5 January 2011);         [ Links ] see also M Romeu 'A call to action: Making international MFIs disability-inclusive' http://centerforfinancialinclusionblog.wordpress.com/2010/11/05/a-call-to-action-making-international-mfis-disability-inclusive/ (accessed 5 January 2011).         [ Links ]
76 As above.
77 Art 12(5) CRPD (n 9 above).
78 V Ratnala 'They are bankable: Reaching out to people with disabilities' http://www.microfinancefocus.com/liveblog/2009/09/11/they-are-bankable-reaching-out-to-people-with-disabilities/ (accessed 5 January 2011).         [ Links ]
79 Sec 17 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 Cap C 34, LFN 2004.
80 Secs 2(1) & (2)(b) NWDA.
81 Sec 18 & Second Schedule, Part II 1999 Constitution.
82 Secs 2(2)(c) & 5(1) NWDA.
83 Sec 5(2) NWDA.
84 Secs 5(4)(1) & (2) NWDA.
85 As above.
86 Sec 5(4)(2) NWDA.
87 UNICEF Nigeria Children's and women's rights in Nigeria: Renewing the call - Situation assessment and analysis (2007).         [ Links ]
88 Sec 17(3)(a) 1999 Constitution.
89 Sec 6(2) NWDA.
90 Secs 6(3) & (4) NWDA.
91 Sec 6(6) NWDA.
92 B Doyle Disability, discrimination and equal opportunity - A comparative study of the employment rights of disabled persons (1995) 2-3.         [ Links ]
93 'UN Enable - International Day of Disabled Persons' http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=110 (accessed 15 September 2010).         [ Links ]
94 NWDA (n 8 above) sec 6(1).
95 As above.
96 CBM Worldwide 'Others are not so lucky - Vocational training in Nigeria' http://www.cbm.org/en/general/CBM_EV_EN_general_article_45191.html (accessed 4 April 2010).         [ Links ]
97 n 54 above.
98 Goldstein (n 75 above).
99 As above.
100 As above.
101 As above.
102 1999 Constitution (n 79 above) sec 16(2)(d).
103 1999 Constitution (n 79 above) sec 14.
104 JA Oluborode 'Human rights crisis in Nigeria' http://www.pambazuka.org/en/cat-egory/comment/47079 (accessed 15 March 2010).         [ Links ]
105 'The lost ones' http://234next.com/csp/cms/sites/Next/Opinion/5493564-184/The_lost_ones_csp (accessed 15 March 2010).         [ Links ]
106 Helander (n 22 above).
107 Objective 12 of the African Decade of Persons with Disabilities; art 8 CRPD (n 9 above).
108 Frieden (n 39 above).
109 DW Anderson 'Human rights and PWDs in developing nations of Africa' presented at the Fourth Annual Lilly Fellows Programme National Research Conference at Sanford University, Birmingham, 13 November 2004 http://www.samford.edu/lillyhuman-rights/papers/Anderson_Human.pdf (accessed 20 November 2011).         [ Links ]

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