Like any child, children with disabilities carry the promise of happy, meaningful lives and making contributions to build inclusive and sustainable societies.
Children with disabilities however are especially vulnerable. Unregistered at birth and abandoned, some might not even be counted as members of their society. Hidden behind closed doors and shut away in institutions, they are too often over-looked and under-estimated. Dismissed by many in society – their abilities are underestimated and ignored.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), serve to ensure that all children, irrespective of ability or disability, enjoy their rights without discrimination of any kind.
Inclusive societies are sustainable societies.
Each of us has a role in making our society more inclusive. A society cannot be just and fair unless all children are included, and children with disabilities cannot be included unless the environment around them changes to support their participation.
- Increase awareness and knowledge about children with disabilities.
- Spread the word and get more people involved in the cause.
- Fight discrimination and enhance the awareness of disability among all sectors in society.
- Be a role model of altruism and caring so children will copy such behaviours. When we treat others with kindness, respect and patience, children will follow this example.
- Demonstrate through action. If you hear anyone talking disrespectfully of another, say something to them. Remember always to educate others respectfully.
- End the institutionalisation of children with disabilities.
- Dismantle barriers to inclusion so that schools, health facilities, public transport facilitate access and encourage the participation of children with disabilities alongside their peers.
- Call 15999 to report abuse if you suspect that a child is being harmed.
It’s time for change. See the child. Not the disability.