To drive meaningful change for Persons with Disabilities in Rivers State, a non-governmental organisation, FAECARE Foundation has called on Government and all stakeholders to prioritize disability rights and inclusion throughout the State.
The founder of the foundation, Ndifreke Andrew-Essien made the call in a press statement made available to National Network Newspaper, calling for a society where all citizens can thrive regardless of their abilities.
She said her foundation’s mission is to ensure that the community of Persons with Disabilities in Rivers State is no longer subject to disenfranchisement and rights violations.
She underscored the importance of Government and relevant stakeholders’ commitment to advancing the rights of Persons with Disabilities (PWDS) in the state, adding that government parastatals must be reinstated to champion Persons with Disabilities’ rights and welfare.
The founder of FAECARE Foundation also recommended that the protection and advancement of Persons with Disabilities’ rights should be a paramount concern within the state.
She said effective enforcement of the statutory provisions within the CRPD, the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities Prohibition Act (2018), and the Rivers State Persons with Disabilities Welfare (Enhancement) Law of 2012 is necessary.
On Legislative Reform she opined that state government should enact more robust legislation that genuinely promotes the rights of Persons with Disabilities as well as establish relevant offices, a disability council/ commission, and committees at state and local government levels with inclusive Budgeting that must accommodate Persons with Disabilities’ needs, mainstreaming disability for the state’s sustainable growth.
She also enjoined Ministry of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation to advocate for rights rather than adopting a mere charitable or medical model while the Ministry of Women Affairs should actively integrate disability concerns into their interventions to eradicate disenfranchisement.
She further called for Inclusive Communication and asked media houses to ensure proper representation of disabilities and collaborate with disability organizations to raise awareness of disability rights while ensuring public information accessibility.
Calling for Inclusive Education, she said curriculum for Persons with Disabilities and special education courses should incorporate advocacy skills, equipping them to champion their rights and stressed the importance of Political Inclusion.