People with disabilities are people first
Remarks by Anna Solomon, Secretary, Department for Community Development
On the occassion of the launch of 'The State of the World's Childrens Report 2013: Children with Disabilities'
People living with disabilities are people first and like everyone else, they deserve the same set of rights as every citizen of this country. Our national policy on disability emphasises the principles of protection of human rights, inclusiveness, barrier free and partnerships and these must be respected.
Children with disabilities have the same rights and needs as all children. They have the right to survive and thrive, to be included in the lives of their communities and societies, to live healthy lives and reach their full potential, and to become productive members of their society. However, we know that children with disabilities have too often been invisible in policies, in data, and in societies, exacerbating their exclusion and contributing to inequity. They often have less access to services such as health and education, and are more likely to be subjected to neglect and abuse. UNICEF and partners want to change that.
We in the government must tackle the tasks at had without delay and must lead the path for a greater understasing on the fact that disability is not a problem but rather a circumstance. This year’s The State of the World’s Children Report 2013: Children with Disabilities has highlighted seven recommedations that we shall discuss more in the upcomging sessions. They are:
The State of the World’s Children 2013 argues for inclusive and equitable approaches in such areas as early childhood development, education, health, nutrition, humanitarian response and protection. Based on documented experience and examples, the report recommends ways in which governments, the private sector, international donors and agencies, and other stakeholders can help advance this agenda.
Among partners of many sectors present today, I am pleased to lauch this year’s report at this consultation meeting with UNICEF to ensure that children with disability are are placed high in the agenda of this policy dialogue.