Imo State Agency for protection of the rights and privileges of people with disabilities, law by Barr. Innocent Arthur Egwim receives applause.
A Bill for a Law to establish an agency for protection of the rights and privileges of people with disabilities in Imo State and other matters connected thereto, sponsored by Barr. Innocent Arthur Egwim which has been passed by Imo State House of Assembly, awaiting assent by Governor has been commended by the beneficiaries of the law.
A group of people living with disabilities had on Monday 5th June, 2017, paid a courtesy call on the member representing Ideato North state constituency in the Imo State House of Assembly, Hon. Barr. Innocent Arthur Egwim to show their gratitude for factoring them in his legislative effort.
A quick look at section two of the bill shows that in the context of this law, “people with disabilities means people with proven specific or multiple disabilities manifested in disability specificities such as:
i. Neuro-psychological conditions leading to inability to communicate, understand or relate with others.
ii. Blindness, total or groping partiality sight condition.
iii. Deformities hindering locomotive and manipulative abilities.
iv. Cerebral palsy or neurological conditions leading to paralysis proved by a competent medical practitioner.
V. Deafness or hearing impairment below 60 decibels hearing level.
vi. Loss of sensation in any part of the body due to cure from contagious disease like leprosy.
vii. Hemophilia or persistent bleeding leading to disabilities due to highly reduced hemoglobin in person.
viii. Intellectual disability leading to limitation or hindrance to both psycho-motor and cognitive exercises in a person.
ix. Under multiple disabilities, a combination of two or more of (i) – (vii) above manifested in person, including other proven or certified cases of handicapping conditions.
According to section 6 of the bill, The functions of the agency shall include:
a. To be in charge of special homes for the people with disabilities in the State.
b. Identification, registration and maintenance of database for all the people with disabilities in the State; according to types and peculiarities.
c. Placement of people with disabilities, without parental care in special homes and schools meant for disabled people.
d. Advise the government on the need to open Cheshire/Special homes for the people with disabilities in the State.
e. Raise funds from internal and external donor agencies for the general welfare of people with disabilities in the State.
f. Advise the government on the best ways to cater for the education, healthcare, transportation and other social needs of people with disabilities in the State.
They should also handle the certification and de-certification of persons with disabilities as well as the orientation and reorientation of members of the general public on the right attitude and treatment to people with disabilities in the State. Among others.
The law also prohibits discrimination and harmful treatments as well as the use of person with disabilities in soliciting for alms.
The law also provides for the integration of people with disabilities in the society, equality of rights and privileges, 5% job provision/security for persons with disabilities, and free participation in politics and public life.
Above all, the law makes provisions for the protection of people with disabilities from emergency situations as well as protection from sexual abuse.
The law stipulates penalties for the contravention of this law either as an individually or corporate body.
It is important to note that the main objective and reason for this bill is “to provide for the protection of the rights and privileges of people with disabilities in Imo State and to fully integrate them into the mainstream of the society.