On International Children’s Day UNICEF promotes social inclusion of children with disabilities in Tajikistan
DUSHANBE, 1 June 2010 – Promoting the rights of children with disabilities was the major aim of UNICEF-supported events and activities held today in Bobojon Ghafurov district and Isfara on the occasion of 1 June, celebrated in many countries in the Central and Eastern Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States (CEE/CIS) as an International Children’s Day.
“The Concluding Observations of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child on Tajikistan in 2010 suggest that disabled children and their families in the country continue to be confronted with daily challenges that compromise the enjoyment of their rights,” said Siyma Barkin-Kuzmin, Chief of Child Protection in UNICEF Tajikistan. “Discrimination and exclusion related to disabilities occur in all sectors of society.”
“Different events and activities organised on 1 June are a good chance for us to raise awareness of the rights and unique needs of children with disabilities and help make society more inclusive.”
In Bobojon Ghafurov district in northern Tajikistan, more than 1,200 children, including children with disabilities, attended concerts organised across the district on the occasion of 1 June. In addition, more than 200 schoolchildren participated in an essay contest on the topic “Children with disabilities are no different than us.” Many children in the district also took part in a drawing exhibition, chess competition and various other events organised by the district authorities with support from UNICEF, local businesses and communities.
“During all these events, we brought together children with and without disabilities in order to counter stigma and discrimination, and promote inclusive communities where all people belong,” said Madinakhon Solimova, Head of the Child Rights Department in Bobojon Ghafurov district.
In Isfara, more than 3,000 children, including about 250 children with disabilities and 500 children from poor families from Isfara and the neighbouring Kanibadam district attended a concert by popular music bands and took part in drawing, chess and football competitions. In addition, the head of the district administration visited several families that have children with disabilities, assessing their situation and encouraging parents to take care of their children in a family environment.
Bobojon Ghafurov and Isfara are part of the eight ‘priority’ districts where, in the next two years, UNICEF will strongly enhance its engagement in the social sector.
UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.
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