MEDIA ADVISORY: Conference on inclusive education for children with disabilities opens on 27 September in Moscow
MOSCOW/GENEVA, 22 September 2011 –
WHAT: A major conference with confirmed participation of 20 countries will promote inclusive education for children with disabilities in the Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States. It will focus on good practices and research, appropriate legal framework, suitable policies and financing. Governments are urged to ratify the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and put in place inclusive education policies – a critical element of social inclusion. Children with and without disabilities will also voice their opinions, interview key speakers and leaders and blog on the conference.
WHERE: Marriott Courtyard Hotel, Moscow
WHEN: 27-29 September 2011
ORGANIZERS: UNICEF with the support of The Moscow City Government
WHO: Key speakers include:
Evgenii Yuriev, Presidential Advisor for Social Policies, Russian Federation (to be confirmed). Experts such as UNICEF senior advisor on children with disabilities, Rosangela Berman-Bieler; Diane Richler, Consultant and Chair of International Disabilities Alliance and Past-president of Inclusion International; and Gerison Lansdown, International Children’s Rights Consultant and Founder and Director of the Child’s Rights Alliance for England.
WHY: An unacceptable number of children with disabilities are hidden away at home where they receive no education and no support within the 22 countries and entities in Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States. There is a need for policy reforms and a change in attitude in much of the region. The usual policy approach here is to place children with disabilities in institutions and away from society, though studies show this is harmful for all children particularly for the development of children under three years of age. Often excluded and invisible, these children`s rights are being violated. Inclusive education provides the opportunities needed for them to achieve their full potential so they can be active and productive members of society and an important social and human resource. Investing more in child-friendly services, and supporting parents in their caregiving roles, is right in principle and in practice. This conference follows on an earlier event supported by UNICEF in Baku, Azerbaijan and hosted by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation on a wider range of issues on children with disabilities and ongoing advocacy and public awareness effort.
MEDIA OPPORTUNITIES: For media organizations interested in attending the conference during the opening on Tuesday 27 September at 9.00 a.m. or cover the press conference 27 September, 10.15 a.m. Moscow time, please contact: Viacheslav Tikhomirov, UNICEF Russia Federation, +7 985 412 921 65 72, firstname.lastname@example.org or Lely Djuhari, UNICEF CEECIS Regional office, +41 792 044482, email@example.com