We grow up stronger when we grow up together
Children grow up better when they grow up, learn or play together. Disabilities should not be a reason for exclusion. Children with disabilities belong together with all the other children, in family, school and in community. All children can learn, and the sooner a disability is identified, the greater the chances of faster development is. Also, the younger the age of a child with disabilities when he or she enrolls in kindergarten and school, the greater his or her chances of development and a better life are. When children with different abilities learn together in the same classroom, everyone's performance increases, contrary to the impression that the presence of a child with disabilities affects the school performance of their peers.
Globally, one child in 10 has a form of disability, UNICEF estimates.
Globally, UNICEF estimates that 1 in 10 has a form of disability. Official statistics show that in Romania, there are approximately 72,000 children with disabilities registered in the state records. So most of these children are, in fact, invisible.
Children with disabilities are one of the most marginalized and excluded groups in society, facing daily discrimination. This takes the form of negative attitudes, the lack of appropriate policies and legislation, impeding access to health care, education and potentially endangering their lives.
UNICEF data shows that at least 75 per cent of the estimated 5.1 million children with disabilities living in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia are excluded from quality inclusive education.
The campaign launched in Romania, "We grow up stronger when we grow up together" is aimed at families with children aged between 0 and 6 that have a disability, as well as at all parents and professionals working with children, including children with disabilities. The campaign is carried out in partnership with the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection through the National Authority for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Children and Adoptions (ANDPDCA), the Ministry of Education and Research. It is also part of UNICEF's international campaign "Early Moments Matter".
UNICEF in Romania supports central authorities to develop public policies that encourage the social inclusion of children with disabilities. Also, through the pilot programs it has implemented, particularly through the Minimum package of services carried out in 45 communities in the eastern county of Bacau, UNICEF has tested ways to early identify children with disabilities and to facilitate their access to services.