FIFTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION ON PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES, Madrid, 6/7th May, 2013 Participation of children with disabilities, Gerison Lansdown We need to believe in ourselves and challenge negative opinions by

showing how able we are. We need to be arguing for our own rights not just rely on non-disabled adults to do this on our behalf. Disability is in the eyes of society. It is not in our eyes. If provided with opportunities, we can prove our worth. (Quotes from children with disabilities in Nepal) Overview

Understanding CRC and CRPD on participation of children with disabilities Participation in practice Addressing the barriers Benchmarks for measuring the realisation of participation rights for children with disabilities The context Inadequate data but estimates of between 100150 million children with disabilities aged 0-18 Many in institutions - isolated and silenced Out of school where many opportunities for

participation arise Infantilised and excluded from participation because of assumptions of incompetence Most initiatives exclude children with disabilities A virtuous circle Children with disabiliti es

What participation rights do children with disabilities have? Right to participation CRC CRC General Comment: children with disabilities

CRPD Article 12 establishes the right to express views Children with disabilities must be entitled to participate on the same basis as other

children Article 7 requires provision of age and disability appropriate assistance to participate General principle to be considered in the realisation of all other rights

They must be Articles 13 -17 recognise provided with children as active agents practical measures to Article 5 respects the make that evolving capacities of possible children Article 4 obliges

governments to consult with children with disabilities when developing legislation and policies Article 3 requires respect for the evolving capacities of Unpacking A12 CRC (A7 CRPD) Why does

participation matter? Participation and the realisation of rights Participation Benefits of participation Participation in practice Approaches to

participation Participation as an end or a means? Individual or group participation? Separate or inclusive participation? What level of participation? Where should participation take

place? At hom e In conferenc es In governmen t policy In play

and recreati on In scho ol In courts In hospita ls

In culture and the arts In local governmen t In internation al forums

In local communitie s In other words, at all levels of society and in all settings Addressing the barriers What are the barriers facing children with disabilities? Attitudes and assumptions

Lack of accessible transport Lack of training and skills Lack of funding Physical environment

Lack of confidence Failure to commit time The invisibility of children with disabilities Children with disabilities are often hidden from view Necessary to reach out to find them: Disabled Peoples Organisations (DPOs) Childrens organisations

Community mapping Situation analyses, research and surveys Community-based services and institutions Involving parents and caregivers Benchmarks for measuring the realisation of participation rights Moving towards entitlement

Introducing a legal and policy framework Raising adult awareness Creating opportunities for political engagement Access to information Opportunities to influence matters in day to day life

Participation as a legal right; recognition of evolving capacities; complaints, remedies and redress Training on participation for all professionals working with children with disabilities , as well as sensitization for parents Opportunities to influence government policies at local

and national levels Information on rights and how to access them, access to different sources of information Involvement in family life, education, health care, community issues etc Conclusion The right to be heard extends to every child,

including children with disabilities It must be understood as an entitlement not a privilege Participation is fundamental to the dignity and humanity of every child with a disability

BUT It will not happen unless explicit measures are taken to remove the barriers THEREFOR E

All duty bearers must take action to ensure its full realisation AND Represents a WINWIN for each child and the society s/he lives in

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