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2010-10-18
Disabled Children's Rights - An Advocacy Tool


Peter Coleridge

Every Article of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) applies to all children, without exception. Or so the theory goes. However, we can never assume that initiatives to improve childrens rights automatically bring benefits to the most marginalised children. In order to raise awareness of the rights of one such group disabled children - the International Save the Children Alliance is carrying out a project on disabled childrens rights and the CRC.

This project is collecting examples of violations and good (or improving) practice in relation to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and disabled children. The aim is to produce a compendium of examples, which will be a resource for use in promoting the rights of disabled children. Begun in August 1999, contributions have steadily been received from every continent. The majority are from Africa.

356 examples have been collected so far, with twice as many examples of violations as good/improving practice. It is interesting that the majority of examples documented (153) relate to education: Article 28: The childs right to education, and Article 29: The childs right to education aimed at the development of the childs personality, talents and abilities. The largest impairment groups specifically referred to are physical impairments and learning disabilities. No surprises there.

Although the stated deadline has passed, we still welcome contributions, and all will be included. We are especially keen to fill several major gaps: so far we have no examples about education and children with mental health problems; no contributions from children or adults with learning disabilities themselves; and very few from South and Central America, Australasia and the Pacific. We welcome personal accounts from disabled children and their parents.


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