World Children’s Day 2022: Advocacy calls of children & adolescents on disability inclusion
“My disability shouldn’t define me. We are all children who have rights.”
For World Children’s Day 2022 (20 November), we, the children and young people of Zimbabwe call for an inclusive society where all children with disabilities have their rights respected.
Our calls are addressed to people with disabilities, including children with disabilities, the Government, members of the parliament, members of our respective communities, our peers (children, adolescents and young people), our parents and guardians, service providers (education, health, police, government staff, etc.), religious and community leaders, local authorities, donor and embassies, UN organizations, civil society organizations, and the private sector.
We, children and young people in Zimbabwe call
- Reinforcing policies and constitutions in place to ensure children with disabilities have their rights respected and get the attention and the resources they need for effective and efficient implementation by proper budget allocation.
- to ensure all forms of disability are addressed in advocacy and awareness raising, including learning disabilities and other non-physical disabilities.
- to stop abuse, stigma and discrimination against children with disabilities by raising awareness among society and communities and ensuring consistent information and education of society to demystify the labelling of disability as a curse.
- to applaud and recognize the merits of/ achievements of people and children with disabilities, to change the narrative of children with disabilities being seen as less than to being seen as equals who can thrive in their respective fields.
- to leave no one behind when it comes to information dissemination, especially to adolescents and young people, by ensuring the information packages are disability-friendly. (audio version, braille version, sign language, dyslexia-friendly, etc.)
- to promote and respect the civil rights of people and children with disabilities and to promote true & meaningful participation and/or leadership of people and children with disabilities in decision-making processes on issues that concern them and in the planning, implementation and monitoring of activities that affect them (Nothing for us, without us)
- to ensure infrastructures are disability friendly for those with a physical impairment, especially in learning institutions, healthcare provision, etc.
- to make sexual and reproductive health education accessible to all adolescents, including those with disabilities.
- To ensure access to basic amenities such as food, clothing, medicine, education, sanitation, menstrual hygiene, etc., is available for all children and adolescents, especially for those with disabilities.
- To develop capacity-building programs that are tailored for children with disabilities, empowering them to have a voice in issues affecting them, to be able to speak up to caregivers & service providers and to ensure they can be agents of change.
- To raise awareness and develop capacities of essential service providers and the resources they use to be able to cater to children with disabilities. (disability friendliness, sign language trainings, disability inclusion, etc.)
- To develop community-level information centres accessible to all children and adolescents, especially for those with disabilities, to ensure an equal chance to receive updated fact-based information on issues affecting them.
- To raise awareness of children with disabilities on rights of the child, national disability policy and the constitutions that ensure those with disability are respected.
- To ensure business opportunities are developed for children, adolescents and young people with disabilities.
- For consulting children with disabilities and allowing them to design awareness-raising campaigns on disability inclusion, utilizing multimedia, network television, radio and social media.