A disability is any condition which makes it more difficult for a person to do certain activities or interact with the world around them.
These conditions, or impairments, may be cognitive, developmental, intellectual, mental, physical, sensory, or a combination of multiple factors.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities defines disability as:
long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder [a person’s] full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.
The following conditions could easily be concluded to be disabilities: deafness, blindness, an intellectual disability, partially or completely missing limbs or mobility impairments requiring the use of a wheelchair etc.
On January 23, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari signed into law the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018, following 9 years of relentless advocacy by disability rights groups and activists.
The Act criminalizes the employment of persons with disability for the purposes of begging in public.
Section 16(1) of the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018 provides as follows:
16 (1) A person shall not –
(a) employ, use or involve a person with disability in begging;
(b) parade persons with disabilities in public with intention of soliciting for alms; or
(c) use condition of disability as a guise for the purpose of begging in public
Section 16 (2) stipulates that a person who contravenes Section 16(1) commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of N100,000 or a term of six months imprisonment or both.
By the provisions of this law, the acts of persons who employ the use of disabled people to beg for alms on the street and major roads are not only wrong but amount to a crime punishable by imprisonment.