LAB& Disability Commission to Launch Campaign
The Legal Aid Board and the National Commission for Persons with Disability are collaborating on rights issues pertaining to disabled persons. The target group includes the Blind, Wheelchair Users, Deaf, Amputees, War Wounded and Albinos. The disabled persons qualify for legal aid without any precondition because they are vulnerable.
According to the National Outreach Officer for the Legal Aid Board, Ibrahim Kamara, the Board has had two meetings with the Disability Commission this month. The two agreed to launch a campaign in the coming weeks. ‘The campaign will draw attention to serious rights issues affecting the Disabled persons,’ he said.
The Executive Director of the Legal Aid Board,0 Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles, said the rights issues affecting Disabled persons are many and daunting. She noted that a good number of disabled persons are compelled to live on the streets because they do not have a place called home. ‘So when you see them on the streets of PZ and Sani Abacha at night and sleeping rough, they are not criminals, they are not loitering, they are homeless,’ she said.
Carlton-Hanciles said that Disabled persons do not have a sustainable source of livelihood. ‘Some do not know where the next meal will come from and this why they resort to begging,’ she stated.
She added that society is generally harsh to them. Also, some live a life of rejection which they have had to contend with since birth. ‘What is more, some suffer these abuses in the hands of family members and friends,’ she observed. ‘We have betrayed the trust of the disabled. In return, many are harsh and aggressive to society.’
Carlton-Hanciles disclosed that the two institutions will soon announce a date for the White Cane Campaign. ‘In April, I drew the attention of the Waterloo Community to discrimination Blind People are subjected to in using public transport and, therefore, floated the idea of a white Cane Campaign,’ she informed.
The LAB Boss further disclosed that a Trust Fund and Care Centers will be set up. ‘The Center will provide counseling services and food to disabled persons,’ she revealed, concluding that the ambitious initiative will require the support and goodwill of all including the government and the international community. We will provide the leadership to make these initiatives work.’
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