Perspectives and Legal Implications of Inclusive Access to the Environment for Children Living with Disabilities in Nigeria Under the Discrimination Against Persons with Disability (Prohibition) Act 2018

Emenike Olisa Mbanugo Esq


The enactment of the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act 2018 (DPDPA) is a watershed in the prolonged narrative on the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities in Nigeria. However, the provisions of the DPDPA, especially dealing with access to the environment or physical structures, fall short of global expectations, standards and international law and instruments. The strength and weaknesses of the Act therefore will be examined to ascertain if it has made adequate provisions for the protection or prohibition from discrimination for persons with disabilities especially children. The provisions of the law should be examined to establish its conformity with the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, regional and international instruments to which Nigeria is a signatory and existing national and provincial laws. The focus of this paper is the provision on accessibility of physical structure[1] which prohibit the violation of the right of persons with disabilities to access public building, public transportation and ancillary matters. It will be examined to see whether these provisions can be said to assure access to the physical structure to children with disabilities on equal basis with other children and the general public and also whether they comply with the provisions of the Convention on the Right of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) to which Nigeria is a signatory. One key question that agitates this paper is whether this law has established adequate mechanism and sufficient institutional framework that guarantees the application and implementation of this law. The National Building Code is a vital key to the effective implementation of the provisions of the DPDPA dealing with access to the environment and relevant provisions of the Code will be discussed.  The object of this paper is to provoke a robust enforcement cum implementation of the law, highlighting areas that will require amendment, review or overhaul to bring it in closer alignment with global best practices, international standards and very importantly, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This paper will attempt to analyse the legal implications of inclusive access on an equal basis and the feasibility of the provisions of the DPDPA aforesaid in comparison with the CRPD and the institutional infrastructure designed to achieve its basic goals.

DOI: 10.7176/JLPG/85-15

Publication date:May 31st 2019

[1] Discrimination Against Persons with Disability (Prohibition) Act 2018, Part II

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