UNIC Lagos debuts braille Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Friday, 09 February 2018

Lagos | UNIC Lagos

In its 70 years of existence, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) has become the most translated document in the world. However, much is desired in providing access for those with disabilities, in particular, blind people.

In response to the directive of Secretary-General António Guterres to make global development inclusive of people with disabilities an “enhanced priority”, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos has launched the first complete braille version of the UDHR. It marks the beginning of the year-long campaign to commemorate the 70th anniversary of its adoption.

The braille Universal Declaration of Human Rights was launched at the National Human Rights Commission headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria, on 11 December 2017.

To demonstrate the usability of the UDHR braille, two students from the Abuja School of the Blind, Jacinta Odili and Honesty Ayama, read Articles One and Seven respectively.

"In strengthening the efforts to leave no one behind and deepen universal access to the UDHR, the UN Information Centre Lagos, initiated and produced the braille version of the UDHR for the blind,” said Edward Kallon, Resident Coordinator of the UN system in Nigeria.

“We have heard of UDHR in sign language as well as in audio format. But, this braille version probably is the first of its kind in the world," he said.

Addressing a group of students, the Director of UNIC Lagos noted that the braille version of the UDHR “aims to foster unity within diversity and enhance a sense of inclusiveness amongst blind people, whose rights as human beings are enshrined in the UDHR.”

Dayo Akpata, Solicitor-General of the Federation; Christopher Thornley, Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria; and Oti A. Ovrawah, Acting Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission, also participated in the launch event.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was proclaimed by the General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations.