Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) has called for the formulation and implementation of deliberate policies to include internally displaced persons, refugees, returnees and stateless persons in the schemes of education sector.
The director of the centre for West Africa, Idayat Hassan, made the call on Thursday in Abuja at the celebration of ECOWAS Human Rights Day in Abuja.
Represented by Jasper Ukachukwu, Programme Officer, CCD, Ms Hassan said rights of vulnerable groups such as People Living With Disabilities (PLWDs) Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), refugees, returnees and stateless persons continue to face challenges of inclusion.
She said the PLWDs, particularly, face specific challenges in the pursuit of their right to education resulting in a reduced access to mainstream education.
“According to the 2017 report on inclusive education by the World Bank and the Global Partnership for Education, it is noted that literacy among children with learning disabilities has increased globally.
“In spite of that reduction, these children remain severely excluded from educational policies and still lag far behind their peers.
“To ensure equal educational opportunities for all without discrimination or exclusion, CDD stresses the need for a human rights-based approach in the delivery of education in Nigeria.
“In this regards, CDD urges government of Nigeria to adopt an inclusive dimensions of the right to education, notably through the implementation of the 1960 UNESCO Convention and Recommendation against Discrimination in Education,’’ she said.
Ms Hassan said this would provide an international legal framework for the protection of the right to education without discrimination.
She said IDPs, refugees, returnees, and stateless persons faced significant challenges in exercising their right to education and other rights.
Ms Hassan, therefore, enjoined the government to move from the current stop-gap policy approaches to a much more direct and sustainable entrenched systems that carter for education in emergency situations.
Earlier, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in West Africa and the Sahel, Ibn Chambas, reaffirmed the organisation’s cooperation with the ECOWAS for promoting human rights.
Mr Chambas, who was represented by Malamine Tamba, Senior Human Rights Officer, in ECOWAS, said the event offered governments and civil society organisations opportunity to better address emerging challenges on human rights in the sub-region.
He said the celebration also offered opportunities to exchange ideas on human rights and inclusive governance with regards to specific groups such as PLWDs, IDPs, refugees and stateless persons in West Africa.