African Child Day in Togo
- © CBM
On 26 June 2012 CBM, jointly with local partners celebrated the International Day of the African Child in Togo. This was an opportunity for children with disabilities from across Togo to highlight and submit to the government and other stakeholders, their needs and the barriers they face in various areas of life.
The Rights of Children with Disabilities
UNICEF’s Country Representative in Togo, Mrs. Viviane Van Steirteghem, speaking on behalf of Technical and Financial partners, highlighted the issue of discrimination of children with disabilities leading to limited access to healthcare and educational opportunities.
The Minister of Social Affairs and National Solidarity, Mrs. Maimounatou Ibrahima, on her part stated that children with disabilities are victims of violence and neglect. She further noted that due to ignorance, indifference, fear, retrogressive traditions and above all lack of adapted equipments to facilitate their integration, these children cannot properly enjoy their childhood.
To counter this situation, she highlighted the Togolese Government initiatives in this area including ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in March 2011; introduction of a Code for protection of Children and the commencement of inclusive education for children with sensory impairments – who are often the most excluded – leading to the drafting of a training manual for inclusive education.
The highlight of the day was by Children with Disabilities themselves when their representative, Augustin read and presented to the government of Togo a Memorandum drawing attention to the barriers they experience in education, health, sports and leisure as well as accessibility of infrastructure thus inhibiting their full participation in normal life. Specifically, they made 5 key recommendations that the government of Togo should implement to ensure that they enjoy their human rights without discrimination.