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UNICEF Executive Director, Anthony Lake on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities

NEW YORK, 3 December 2010 - "Today UNICEF commemorates the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, an occasion to recommit ourselves to protecting the rights of every child, especially those with special needs.

Children living with disabilities have the same rights as all children: The right to live in dignity and to grow up in an environment that enables them to reach their full potential.  But evidence strongly suggests that such children are far too often excluded and stigmatized.

The landmark Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has been ratified by 96 countries since it was opened for signature in 2007.  This remarkable achievement has drawn global attention to the rights and needs of children living with disabilities.  UNICEF urges those nations which have not yet ratified the CRPD to do so – and encourages all nations to deliver on their obligations to protect the rights of their most vulnerable citizens.

UNICEF is committed to supporting the global effort to break down the barriers that prevent children living with disabilities from full participation in society.  Together, we can ensure that children living with disabilities have an equal chance to make the most of their lives, and in so doing, build a better world for us all."

For more information, please contact:
Rebecca Fordham, UNICEF Media, New York,
Tel + 1 212 326-7162,




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