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Convention on the Rights of the Child printed in Braille alphabet for the first time in Montenegro

© UNICEF Video
Montenegro chose to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the CRC by printing the child friendly version in the Braille alphabet.

PODGORICA, Montenegro, 06 January 2010 – On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (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 blind and visually impaired children in Podgorica copies of the Convention printed in the Braille alphabet.

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“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 Mr. 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 his copy.

All rights for all children

Article 17 of the CRC stresses the right of children to information, as access to information 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 the CRC in the Braille alphabet.

As a result of this effort - and 200 years after the birth of Louis Braille - children with sight problems now have easily accessible information on their rights.

© UNICEF Video
Regional Director Steven Allen presents a Braille version of the CRC to a young girl in Podgorica.

“Rights prescribed by the 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 the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Suad Numanovic.

Rights for the disabled
According to the article 23 of the CRC, mentally or physically disabled children 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 Mr. Allen.

“Respecting child rights is an indication of the maturity of the whole society,” said Mr. Skuletic. “Providing all children with opportunities to develop to their full potential will create good conditions for the development of the whole society.”

The UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child on November 20, 1989. Twenty years later, it is the most ratified human rights treaty in the history of humanity.




UNICEF Correspondent Vlatko Otasevic reports on the Braille version of the CRC.
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