HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE 21ST CENTURY: PROTECTING AND PROMOTING THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

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ABSTRACT

This study is divided into five chapters. Chapter one is a broad overview and layout of the research. It outlines the research project. This provides an overview of the essence of the research. It covers the background of the research, the statement of the problem, justification of the study, objectives of the study, hypothesis of the study, theoretical framework, literature review, methodology to be used and the limitations of the study.

Chapter two provides an in-depth understanding of the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocols. In addition, this chapter discusses the provisions of the Constitution of Nigeria, 2018, touching on the rights of persons with disability.

Chapter three gives an overview of the Persons with Disabilities Act and also touches on other Nigerian major pieces of legislation with general provisions on disability rights in Nigeria. This section will demonstrate the country‘s level of commitment to the disability cause and to portray how the disability human rights principle has been adopted locally.

Chapter four is comparative in nature and discusses the legal treatment accorded to persons with disabilities in the Republic of Korea, which is developed in the law and observance of the rights of persons with disabilities. This will demonstrate that Nigeria lags behind in recognizing and implementing fundamental rights and freedoms, structures and mechanisms put in place to protect the rights and persons with disabilities. In addition, it gives key insights of how the Nigerian statute can be improved to comply with the Constitution of Nigeria, 2018 and international instruments.

Chapter five is divided into two parts: the conclusion and the recommendations. The conclusion is a summary of the research findings. The main purpose of the conclusion is to demonstrate that the Persons with Disabilities Act has pronounced gaps and it can only safely be held so when it is

measured against the Constitution of Nigeria, 2018 and the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as yardsticks. It also discusses Nigeria‘s level and extent of compliance on disability laws as captured under the Constitution of Nigeria, 2018 and international instruments.

The recommendations comprise of suggestions of legislative and institutional reforms, which are necessary in order to effectively deal or cater for the rights of the persons with disabilities in Nigeria.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1Background of the Problem

The overall disability in Nigeria is 3.5% of the population which translates to 1.330,312 million persons with disabilities. Of this, the largest proportion is physical impairment (413, 698 persons) followed by visual impairment (331,594).2 The socio-economic situation of persons with disabilities in Nigeria, the widespread economic hardship being experienced in the country does not auger well for persons with disabilities. Most persons with disabilities depend on their families for social, financial, material and psychological support. Therefore, under the current situation persons with disabilities are more likely to have less access to resources than other members of the family.

According to the Nigeria Society for the Mentally Handicapped (NSMH), there is an established 3.5% of the total population 3 living with disabilities in Nigeria of which less than 1% are able to access care and rehabilitation services. Accordingly, out of the 3.5 Million people living with Adopted from the report, ―Inclusion of People with Disabilities in Nigeria‖ by International Labour Organization of October, 2009. Available at (Last accessed on 11th September, 2012). According to the Nigeria National      Population Census Report, 2009. Available on (Last accessed on 11th September, 2012). These statistics are available at (Last accessed on 11th September, 2012). disabilities only less than 1% are able to access services such as education4, rehabilitation services, voting and work. These people are not only segregated but they, together with their families are often not able to access any specialized support services. Without work, education and rehabilitation services, these people become fully dependent on third parties in order to access even the most basic needs. This confirms the sad plight of more than 3.5 Million persons with disabilities who are rejected by parents, families and abandoned to live in inhumane and abusive environments. Majority of the 3.5 Million persons with disabilities are orphaned and vulnerable because of high rate of divorce and separation of their parents. In addition, HIV/AIDS highly affects persons who are prone to rape, incest and other sexual violations and exploitations. Hardly any specialized support services are available to the persons with disabilities and their families, especially in the rural and urban slums where the majority live. Their rights are not recognized and their access to even the most basic of needs fully depends on support of a third party.