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Do No Harm? Disabilities and Discrimination: Elaine’s Story

Lessons here are applicable everywhere. In Nigeria, since the inception of democracy States have taken steps to pass Non Discrimination laws especially with regard to Physical disabilities and HIV. Progress has been very slow, but the efforts laudable. Discrimination is a huge human rights issue. Laws and policies couple with political will, will go a long way in addressing the issue.

When we are disabled, we can be vulnerable to discrimination, systemic abuse, and having our basic human rights violated. Like Paul Caune points out in the film Hope Is Not A Plan, “When your civil rights are violated you don’t need a good hug, you need a good lawyer”.

At the very least, we need a good advocate by our side.

Despite Human Rights “recognition”, people with MCS/ES are systemically denied safe access to even the most basic institutions of “care” that most people take for granted  due to chemical (and attitudinal) barriers and discrimination, like with the health-care systems, the very system where our health is supposed to be cared for.  I do believe there’s even an oath that some providers take to “do no harm”, but sadly, as those of us with MCS/ES have experienced, that is rarely the case when chemical and environmental…

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