Disabilities

International day of persons with disabilities

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December 3, 2013 – The theme of the 21st International Day of Persons with Disabilities was: “Break barriers, open doors: for an inclusive society for all”. A major focus of the Day was practical and concrete action to include disability in all aspects of development, as well as to further the participation of persons with disabilities in social life and development on the basis of equality. According to the World Disability Report, there are around 93 million children with disabilities in the world and they face discrimination in many aspects of their lives. Children with Disabilities encounter barriers on an everyday basis, which prevent them from participating equally in the society. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) recognizes that often these barriers are more disabling than the impairment itself.

“Removing barriers to create an inclusive and accessible society for all” and UNICEF asked partners to join efforts to make this a reality.

Barriers for children with disabilities and their families exist in different forms, including for example through negative attitudes, policies and legislation which discriminate and are not inclusive, or when the physical environment is not accessible. Whether it is being accepted in school or on the playground, accessing health services, basic nutrition or being included in emergency response, children with disabilities encounter barriers on an everyday basis, which prevent them from participating equally in the society. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) which came into force in 2008 recognizes that often these barriers are more disabling than an individual’s impairment itself.

In the words of UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake, “Imagine a world where all children are included…involved. Where their talents are celebrated…where their contributions are recognized. Where they count. That is the world towards which UNICEF is working.”

UNICEF works around the world in partnership with governments, donors, UN agencies, civil society organizations, and organizations of persons with disabilities (DPOs), towards creating an inclusive and accessible society for children with disabilities. UNICEF believes that an inclusive society will benefit not only children and adults with disabilities, but the entire population.

* Photo Credit: UNICEF/New York 2013 


 

 

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