Rights of PWDs: Activist seeks support to represent Nigeria on UN committee

Dr Christopher Nwanoro, a disability rights activist, is soliciting for Nigeria’s and Africa’s support to champion the cause of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) on the UN Committee on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

He made the plea during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja.
Nwanoro, who is visually impaired, highlighted the challenges faced by PWDs in the country, and called for support to enable them carry out their daily responsibilities with less stress.

He was nominated by Federal Government in 2022 to represent Nigeria and possibly Africa on the UN CRPD elections scheduled for June 11.

The CRPD is a committee of experts selected from each continent to represent and fight for the rights of PWDs.

He said “it was based on what I have done for this country that government deemed it necessary to nominate me to represent Nigeria and possibly Africa on the UN committee on the rights of persons with disabilities.
“I believe quite well that if I win that election, I will be able to chair that committee based on my antecedents and what I have done in the UN, in Nigeria and in Africa as a whole.

“It is a committee that the UN set up to look into the affairs of PWDs, their human rights, and ensure accessibility and nondiscrimination; they have equal rights and all that.

“So, we are trained in various skills to see how we can bridge the gap between the West and the South where we belong.”

Nwanoro, who said one of his key area of focus is to improve accessibility of PWDs to public buildings across Nigeria and Africa, added that “my presence in that committee will turn things around.

“We are going to have positive impact on the lives of PWDs in Nigeria and Africa. And not only that, the level of discrimination and marginalisation we are seeing today, we will try our best to reduce to the barest minimum.”
He stressed the need for challenged persons to have assistive devices to help them navigate their ways and live independent lives, as obtained in other climes.

He reiterated readiness to take responsibilities and to champion disability rights on the global stage “where everyone has equal rights and opportunities, regardless of ability.”

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