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The number of people visually impaired from infectious diseases has greatly reduced in the last 20 years (WHO 2011)
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Celebrating abilities and calling for change

03-06-2013
Two children are playing with blocks on a table, they are smiling
© CBM
Children are being given an opportunity to explore their potential through community based rehabilitation programmes at the CoRSU rehabilitation hospital, Kampala, Uganda.

In May 2013, UNICEF released its first State of the World's Children report focusing on children with disabilities. The report highlights that children with disabilities have great potential to lead fulfilling lives and contribute to society. However, this potential is being limited by social attitudes that focus on the children's disabilities rather than their potential. In response to this problem, the report outlines best practices in disability inclusion. The report also gives children with disabilities a forum to express their needs & personal experiences, through personal accounts and videos.

UNICEF's first State of the World's Children Report focusing on disabilities

UNICEF have published their first ever State of the World Children report, focusing on children with disabilities. The report tells us that the full potential of children with disabilities is being limited by social attitudes that focus on what children with disabilities cannot do, rather than what they can achieve. Like all children, those with disabilities have many abilities, but they are often excluded from society by discrimination and lack of support, leaving them among the most invisible and vulnerable children in the world. Every child has a wealth of ability if his or her rights are respected. Commitments to creating more inclusive societies have improved the situation of many children with disabilities, but progress is uneven. Key steps have to be taken to accelerate progress and reduce disparities.

The State of the World's Children 2013 report outlines inclusive and equitable approaches in such areas as early childhood development, education, health, nutrition, humanitarian response and protection. Based on documented experience and examples, the report recommends ways in which governments, the private sector, international donors and agencies, and other stakeholders can help advance this agenda.

Giving children a voice to express their needs

In addition to this, the report gives a voice to children with disabilities to encourage their involvement as architects and agents of change in their communities and to create a dialogue leading towards equal treatment of all children, regardless of ability. To this end, in addition to the main narrative of policymakers and expert technical panels, the report features perspectives, personal essays & videos made by children with disabilities - personal accounts of their every day lives outlining how they accomplished their personal or professional goals or are striving to do so. The hope is that these accounts will foster greater attention on these children’s needs and their remarkable potential.

The ultimate proof of all global and national efforts will be seen on the local level, the test being whether every child with disability enjoys her or his rights – including access to services, support and opportunities – on par with other children, even in the most remote settings and the most deprived circumstances.

With the launch of The State of the World’s Children 2013: Children with Disabilities, UNICEF wants to encourage a global dialogue with concurrent policy and action. CBM encourages all partners and stakeholders to get involved. Working together, we can improve the lives of all children.

Read report and related materials

More reading

Inclusive Development

How CBM works for an inclusive world in which all persons with disabilities enjoy their human rights and achieve their full potential

01-11-2010


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