UNICEF, USAID and the Delegation of the European Union to Bosnia and Herzegovina launched the Campaign on children with disabilities: It’s About Ability – Join us!
SARAJEVO, 2 July 2013 - UNICEF in partnership with USAID and the Delegation of the European Union to Bosnia and Herzegovina, launched the Campaign "It’s About Ability“, aiming to raise the awareness and change the attitudes and practices of general population towards children with disabilities and their families.
USAID, the Delegation of the European Union to BiH and UNICEF shared the results of a recent survey about knowledge, attitudes and practices towards children with disabilities and presented a strategy for the “It’s About Ability” campaign.
The Head of the EU Delegation to BiH/EU Special Representative Ambassador Peter Sorensen said: "The European Union, together with our partners USAID and UNICEF are strongly committed to improving the situation of children and people with disabilities in this country. It is vital, including for BiH's EU integration aspirations, that the institutions and people of this country develop more understanding of how persons with disabilities feel and what their needs are – and not what we think their needs are."
The Survey on Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices on children with disabilities in BiH showed, for example, that one third of the respondents find unacceptable that a child with intellectual disabilities attends the same class as their own child, and that 45% of them would not accept a child with intellectual disabilities as their child’s best friend. Commenting these findings, Mr. David Barth, USAID Mission Director said: "Attitudes toward men, women, and children with disabilities need to change. We are all human beings and deserve the same respect, dignity and opportunities."
Florence Bauer, UNICEF Representative in BiH, invited governments, NGOs, media, private sector and individuals to support the campaign, to sign the Pledge, and commit to support children with disabilities within everyone’s best capacity, by placing the Ability on the top of all agendas focused on children with disabilities.
“The inclusion of children with disabilities requires a change of perception to recognize that they have rights and to realize that their active presence and voice will improve society as a whole. Let’s see the child before we see the disability. Let’s talk about the child’s abilities.” – stressed UNICEF Representative Florence Bauer.
The media campaign, consisting of billboards, TV programmes and events will complement the EU-supported programme “Enhancing the Social Protection and Inclusion System in Bosnia and Herzegovina”, implemented by Government partners and UNICEF. The interventions have been contributing to improve the policy framework and the delivery of inclusive services at the local level in the areas of education, child protection, early childhood development and early detection of developmental delays and disabilities, with the participation of civil society.
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