Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Braille, audio and sign language for the first time in Montenegro and the Balkans
Within the “It’s about ability” campaign, the President of Montenegro gives to children with visual and hearing impairments Braille, audio and sign language versions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
CETINJE, Montenegro, 8 June 2011 – Within the “It’s About Ability” campaign, the President of Montenegro, Mr Filip Vujanovic, in the presence of the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Mr Suad Numanovic, Minister of Education and Sports Mr Slavoljub Stijepovic and UNICEF Representative Ms Noala Skinner, will deliver to children the first copies of the Braille, audio and sign language versions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Vladin dom in Cetinje at 12.00 on Wednesday, June 8.
Mayor of Cetinje, Mr. Aleksandar Bogdanovic, will open the ceremony, while the Head of the EU Delegation to Montenegro Ambassador Leopold Maurer will speak about the importance of building an inclusive society on Montenegro’s road to Europe.
Children with visual and hearing impairments will say why it is significant that, for the first time, a child friendly version of the Convention is made available to Montenegro’s children in Braille, audio and sign language.
The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on 13 December 2006. It is the first human rights convention of the 21st century and the first legally binding instrument with comprehensive protection of the rights of persons with disabilities, including children.
The main principles of the Convention include non discrimination; full participation and inclusion in society; respect for difference and accepting people with disabilities as part of human diversity; equal opportunity; accessibility and respect for the evolving capacities of children with disabilities.
Montenegro is the first country in the Balkans to provide children and youth with visual and hearing impairments with the Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Braille, audio and sign language. 500 copies of the child friendly version of the Convention in Braille, together with 100 copies of the DVD with audio and sign language versions, will be distributed all over Montenegro. This contributes in particular to respecting the article 21 of the Convention that states that people have right to get information in the form in which they can understand and use it.
“Providing children with access to information is a necessary precondition for their active participation. To claim your rights, you must know them.” says UNICEF Montenegro Representative Noala Skinner.
The idea of making the Convention in Braille, audio and sign language versions came from one of the child-activists of the “It’s About Ability” campaign, Badema Sirotanovic. She asked UNICEF and the Government to print the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Braille, so that children like her, with visual impairments, can access this information easily all over Montenegro.
“This event once again demonstrates the strength, courage, talent and abilities of children with disabilities. Through “It’s About Ability”, children and young people with and without disabilities are being given the opportunity to participate and to share their thoughts and ideas on inclusion. This is in the spirit not only of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, but also the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child” concludes UNICEF Representative Noala Skinner.
UNICEF, together with the Government of Montenegro, started the It’s about ability campaign in 2010 to promote full inclusion of children with disabilities into all aspects of life in Montenegro – families, schools and communities. More than 100 partners have joined the campaign in order to support changing of attitudes and practices of the general public towards children with disabilities.
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