UN CRC printed in Braille alphabet for the first time in Montenegro
PODGORICA, NOVEMBER 16, 2009 – On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of UN CRC, UNICEF Regional Director for CEE/CIS Steven Allen, together with the Minister of Education Sreten Skuletic and Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Suad Numanovic, gave to blind and visually impaired children in Podgorica copies of the Convention printed in the Braille alphabet for the first time in Montenegro.
“I am delighted to be here today and to give you the first copies of the Convention in the Braille alphabet. I hope it will stimulate you and create an environment where you can fully enjoy your rights and significantly contribute to Montenegro’s development.” said Steven Allen while greeting children in the Institute for education and professional rehabilitation of children with disabilities.
“This is one of the best days of my life” said Nikola Zekic, one of the students, after receiving a copy of the UN CRC in Braille alphabet.
Article 17 of UN CRC stresses the right of children to information, access to which is a prerequisite for effective participation. However, children with disabilities are often precluded from such access. That is why Montenegro chose to celebrate the 20th anniversary by printing the child friendly version of UN CRC in Braille alphabet. As a result, 200 years after the birth of Louis Braille and on the 20th anniversary of UN CRC, Montenegro’s children with sight problems now have easily accessible information on their rights.
“Rights prescribed by UN CRC do not have to be deserved, as they belong to all children and we all have a responsibility to make them a reality for all children” said Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Suad Numanovic on this occasion.
According to the article 23 on UN CRC, States Parties (that is the Government) recognize that a mentally or physically disabled child should enjoy a full and decent life, in conditions which ensure dignity, promote self-reliance and facilitate the child's active participation in the community. “This Braille version achieves two important elements of the Convention, “promoting self reliance and facilitating the child’s active participation in the community.” pointed out Steven Allen, UNICEF Regional Director for CEE/CIS.
“Respecting child rights is an indication of the maturity of the whole society. Providing all children with opportunities to develop to their full potential will create good conditions for the development of the whole society” said Minister of Education Sreten Skuletic on this occasion.
The UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child on November 20, 1989. 20 years later, 193 countries, including Montenegro, have ratified it, which makes it the most ratified human rights treaty in the history of humanity.