The European Union and UNICEF launch a public campaign to promote inclusion of children with disabilities in Kosovo
Prishtina, 20 September, 2023 – Today, as part of an EU-funded initiative, UNICEF Kosovo, launched a new campaign to raise public awareness of the barriers facing children with disabilities, and to call for the full realization of their rights. This campaign is part of the three-year project 'Protecting Vulnerable Children in Kosovo,' implemented by UNICEF with financial support from the European Union in Kosovo.
The campaign, which will run for 22 months online and in municipalities throughout Kosovo, in partnership with the Office of Good Governance, advocates for the rights of children with disabilities with a specific focus on increasing accessibility of public spaces, expanding availability of quality inclusive services, and combatting stigma and discrimination against children with disabilities and their families. The campaign also aims to raise awareness of the draft Law on the Status and Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which will be a milestone reform in Kosovo, if approved.
The highlight of this campaign will be the unveiling of a symbolic “knot” installation designed to represent the numerous and interconnected challenges facing children with disabilities in Kosovo. Open to the public for a week in the center of Pristina, this installation will serve as a visible and powerful platform for parents and children to demand change and promote inclusion within their communities.
Present at the event were parents and children, as well as esteemed guests, including Mrs. Emilija Redžepi, Deputy Prime Minister of Kosovo; Mr. Johannes Madsen, Head of Cooperation at the EU in Kosovo; Mr. Alban Zogaj, Deputy Mayor of Pristina Municipality and Ms. Nona Zicherman, Head of UNICEF Kosovo.
“Speaking at the event, Johannes Madsen, Head of Cooperation at the EU in Kosovo, said: ‘“The launch of this significant campaign today is a momentous occasion for the European Union, UNICEF, and the people of Kosovo. Together, we stand united in our commitment to promoting the inclusion of children with disabilities, breaking down barriers and championing their rights.”’
“We are grateful to the European Union in Kosovo for partnering with us for such an important cause. UNICEF and the EU share the belief that every child deserves the opportunity to thrive and realize their full potential, regardless of their abilities, and we call on parents, development partners and decision-makers to join our campaign and take concrete actions to ensure the full inclusion of all children in Kosovo,” said Ms. Nona Zicherman, Head of UNICEF in Kosovo.
UNICEF, with financial support from the European Union in Kosovo, is dedicated to ensuring equal access to inclusive education and comprehensive community services for children with disabilities. This includes working with civil society partners to provide inclusive early childhood development programs and other services, training social service professionals, strengthening community-based rehabilitation centers, and enhancing the quality of learning for children with disabilities through provision of trained teacher assistants.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.