UNICEF today (30 May 2013) released its 2013 report on the State of the World’s Children and for the first time focussed on children with disabilities. The report strongly endorses all of Inclusion International’s priorities and will be valuable tool in promoting the rights and full inclusion of children with intellectual disabilities and their families.
The report makes 9 key recommendations recognizing that “International commitment to building more inclusive societies has resulted in improvements in the situation of children with disabilities and their families, but too many of them continue to face barriers to their participation in the civic, social and cultural affairs of their communities.”
With respect to Inclusion International’s priorities the report recommends the following:
- “ Support families so they can meet the higher costs of living and lost opportunities to earn income associated with caring for children with disabilities.”
- “Move beyond minimum standards by involving children and adolescents with disabilities and their families in evaluating supports and services designed to meet their needs.”
- “Coordinate services across all sectors so as to address the full range of challenges facing children and adolescents with disabilities and their families.”
- “Dismantle barriers to inclusion so that all children’s environments – schools, health facilities, public transport and so on – facilitate access and encourage the participation of children with disabilities alongside their peers.”
Right to Live in the Community:
- “End the institutionalization of children with disabilities, starting with a moratorium on new admissions. This should be accompanied by the promotion of and increased support for family based care and community-based rehabilitation.”
- “Involve children and adolescents with disabilities in making decisions that affect them – not just as beneficiaries, but as agents of change.”
The report also captured a key message of Inclusion International’s recently released report on The Right to Live and be Included in the Community stressing that “Attention needs to be focused on serving the individual child with a disability as well as on transforming entire systems or societies.”
Klaus Lachwitz, President of Inclusion International, expressed his deep satisfaction with the report. “At last UNICEF has recognized the importance of including children with disabilities in all aspects of community life and the support that families require to support their children. Inclusion International is ready to work with UNICEF and its partners around the world to act on the recommendations”.
For further information contact Connie Laurin-Bowie, Inclusion International Executive Director at firstname.lastname@example.org