Barr. Danlami Basharu, Chairman, United Nations Committee on the Rights Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), has called on employers of labour to be disability-sensitive in recruitment of personnel in their organizations.
Barr. Basharu stressed that being disability-sensitive would help to ensure that persons with disabilities are not discriminated against and are treated equally in the workspace.
Barr. Basharu made this statement during a dialogue on building platforms on an inclusive and accessible workplace in compliance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, UNCRPD and Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, organised by the Nigeria Association of the Blind (NAB).
Quoting Article 27 of the UNCRPD, Basharu stressed that “People with Disabilities have the right to employment” and the work place should be made accessible.
“There should be employment for PWD and the work has to be freely chosen by the person, the labour market should be accessible to all and inclusive”, he added.
He stressed that, “the UNCRPD defines Accessibility as a ‘precondition for persons with disabilities to live independently and participate fully and equally in society. Without access to the physical environment, to transportation, to information and communication, including information and communications technologies and systems, and to other facilities and services open or provided to the public, persons with disabilities would not have equal opportunities for participation in their respective societies.’
He said that employers should avoid discrimination and provide a healthy and safe working environment.
“You must prohibit discrimination against persons with disability and provide healthy safe working environment”.
The Director, Anglo-Nigerian Welfare Association for The Blind (ANWAB)also called for the support of the government and private sector, to provide technical guidance and trainings.
“Government should provide incentive such as laptops and aids for private sectors to help in the recruitment of PWDs,” he added.
Speaking on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Head of Education Committee also an Associate Member of the Blind, Mr. David Okon said that “the SDGs could be achieved when all sectors are fully involved.
“If the goals will be achievable, government, private and religious sector must not be left behind”.
He emphasized that persons with disabilities are very productive and employers should make work place accessible for PWDs.
“Organizations should develop a policy that does not leave anybody behind, persons with disabilities are very productive and employers should look at components that will make a work place accessible to PWDs.”
Earlier, while giving the welcome address, Head, Employment Committee, NAB, Dr. Michael Ebonhor said that everyone should have a form of empathy because everyone suffers a form of disability.
“Everyone suffers a form of disability, what is important is that every human should have a form of empathy.”
While the Director Administrative Service of NAB, Ms. Oluwakemi Odusanya spoke on the overview of the Inclusion Works Project in relation with the Nigeria Association of the Blind.
She said that, the main focus of the dialogue is to make sure that the key word of inclusion and accessibility are put in place for PWDs to have access to formal employment.
We want to ensure that, “more persons with disabilities are gainfully employed and the processes and steps to put in place because there are a lot of technical advantage for inclusion and accessibility”
Participants shared their experiences of how they have been discriminated despite the degrees they have acquired. They also mentioned barriers they face which include attitudinal and infrastructure barriers.
At the end of the dialogue, a communiqué group was formed to create awareness.