Disabled Children’s Rights And Inclusive Education

Disabled children’s rights and inclusive education go hand in hand. UNICEF has urged communities, families and government to keep our children safe from discrimination, neglect and violence.

The agency highlights the needs of disabled children and the lack of services they need to thrive and become healthy adults one day.

Rosangela Berman, chief of UNICEF’s Disability unit states that children with disabilkities are excluded from education in Africa. A meagre portion of these children do not have access to inclusive education.

Around 5 to 10 percent of all children in Africa have a disability. The main cause of such disabilities is:

  • Genetic disorders
  • Complications during childbirth
  • Diseases such as Measles and Meningitis
  • Inadequate prenatal and neonatal health care services
  • An inadequate diet that leads to growth stunt.

Around 25 out of 55 African countries havent ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with disabilities yet. The landmark 2006 treaty that seeks to ensure people with disabilities enjoy the same human rights as everyone else.

Children with disabilities should be protected against all forms of discrimination and violence. Access to education and healthcare is vital.

According to UNICEF:

Their learning achievements are often worse than those of other children, because schools are not designed to cater for them and teachers are often not adequately trained

Several African countries introduced the legislation, national policies and strategies for their children. Rwanda is one country that has invested in their children. Special eduction increased from 632 in 2000 to around 17,000 in 2010.

UNICEF is supporting the development of national frameworks for inclusive education in many African countries, which includes training of teachers and correct learning materials and facilities

UNICEF also supports solid interventions for children with disabilities through text book and braille distribution in economically dry Zimbabwe.

South Africa has ratified the United Nations Convention onthe Rights of children, showing a commitment to ensuring we meet interantional standards. Ratifying the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities is important as it is delicately woven within the childs rights tapestry.