UNICEF Urges to Stop Discrimination Against Children with Disabilities

BeyondHeadlines News Desk

Discrimination on the grounds of disability is a form of oppression, reads a newly released UNICEF’s Global report on the State of the World’s Children – 2013.

The report calls for necessary measures to fight discrimination, stigma, deprivation, and prejudice these children, who are among the most marginalized in the world.

“They grow up poorer and have less access to education and health care services.  These children are more vulnerable to violence, abuse and exploitation,” the report released in Ranchi noted.

UNICEF Urges to Stop Discrimination Against Children with DisabilitiesWhile stressing that the children with disabilities have the same rights as other children, the UNICEF report demands the society to change its attitude towards these children.

In addition, it calls for creating more awareness on disability and inclusion of these children in school as well as the society, as exclusion is a lost opportunity for children and the society.

“Inclusion is possible when schools are designed so that all children learn and play together. Children with physical impairments may be unable to collect water from taps placed too high and access toilets easily,” the UNICEF report read.

“Ramps and wide doors can enhance access and safety for all children, teachers, parents and visitors, not just those who use wheelchairs.”

The UNICEF report was released at a special function in Ranchi, Jharkhand on 14 June in the presence of Ms. Mridula Sinha, Principal Secretary, Women and Child Development; Ms. Mamta Das, State Project Director of JEPC, among others.

Speaking at the function organized in Suchana Bhawan, Ms. Sinha stated that the child should be seen above his/her disability.

“We need to concentrate on the potential and abilities of children with disabilities. The Government is committed to making greater efforts need to be made to support the integration of children with disabilities. We have a long way to go,” added Ms. Sinha.

Job Zachariah, Chief of UNICEF Office for Jharkhand said that children with disabilities are often invisible, as many of them are not counted in the surveys and policies.

“As per global estimates, 5% of children below 14 years in the world live with disability. The World Bank Report (2007) says that about 4-8% of the Indian population consists of persons with disabilities,” Zachariah added.

“However, the official estimate (Census and NSSO surveys) is only about 2%.  In India, 2.1% of the total population is persons with disabilities as per 2001 Census, while the NSSO survey in 2002 estimated it as 1.8%. “

“In Jharkhand, the prevalence of disability is 1.7% (about 5.5 lakh persons in the population) as per Census 2001 and 1.2% as per NSSO survey in 2002. According to JEPC data, it has identified about 85,000 (1.71% of child population) children of 6-14 years with disabilities. Out of this, over 70,000 children have been enrolled in schools, as per JEPC.”


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