UNICEF & Partners Celebrate CwDs on International Day for the Protection of Children
01 June 2022
The festive event provides an opportunity for a unique dialogue and highlights the key issues of children with disabilities.
TASHKENT, 1 June 2022 – On International Children Protection Day, UNICEF and partner organizations call for quality inclusive education for all children, access to social services, combating against all stereotypes and ending discrimination for children with disabilities (CwD).
UNICEF, jointly with the Ministry of Public Education, Agency on Youth Affairs, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Health, Commissioner for children’s rights (Child Ombudsperson), the State Committee for Women and Family Affairs, Republican Center for Social Adaptation of Children, Association of Volunteers of Uzbekistan, Association of Parents of Children with Down Syndrome, used Children’s Day Holiday Commemorations to focus attention on the plight of CwD across the country.
The June 1st Commemorations come against a background of global and national milestones for Children with Disabilities. Locally, Uzbekistan recently ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and a national campaign #Barriers, to raise awareness was launched. Globally, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the CRPD Committees launched a Joint Statement on the Rights of Children with Disabilities in March 2022 and prioritized the following common goals:
- Ending placement of children in boarding institutions (institutionalization) on the basis of disability and promoting the development of support for children in a family in the community;
- Abolishing segregated education systems and guaranteeing early intervention, accessible learning environments and individual support;
- Raising awareness in society and providing human rights training on how to exercise rights;
- Establishing accessible support services and procedures appropriate for the recovery of child victims with disabilities;
- Ensuring the effectiveness of processes for investigation and prosecution of violence and abuse.
“These two international treaties are emphasising key priorities for CwD. In Uzbekistan we are encouraged by the recent measures for Deinstitutionalisation and the revised Law on Education that introduced inclusive education,” said Munir Mammadzade, UNICEF Representative in Uzbekistan. “But much remains to be done for the progressive realization of all rights for all children with various types of disabilities by collectively joining efforts of parents, communities, civil society and state structures, to urgently combat stereotypes, prejudices and end discrimination against children with disabilities.”
Official figures from the Government of Uzbekistan show that 26,532 children lived in various types of residential institutions in 2018, most of whom were CwD. In 2010, 69% of all children placed in residential institutions were children with disabilities, while in 2016 - 84%.
A (2019) Situation Analysis on Persons with Disabilities in Uzbekistan demonstrated that a small part of the Uzbek society had regular contact with persons with disabilities, and those that did mostly acted from the place of pity. Further, girls and women with disabilities face multiple forms of discrimination, due to their gender and disability. Only 50% of youth with disabilities have access to vocational education.
The commemorations provided CwDs with a platform to speak to high-level decision-makers. Boys and girls shared their experiences on communication with CwD, asked questions on the state of CwD in Uzbekistan.