The Regional Consultation Meeting for the Middle East and North AfricaDisabled children call to promote their rights [Archives:2007/1099/Local News]
By: Hamed Thabet
SANA'A, Oct, 31 ) Ten percent of all children in the world are with disabilities, said A UN report.
According to the report the majority of these children live in southern countries. These children experience widespread violations of their rights. Despite obligations by governments to address the rights of children with disabilities under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, not enough progress has been made to date.
In this regard, The Regional Consultation Meeting for the Middle East and North Africa on the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities was held under the auspices of H.E. Mr. Abdel Aziz Abdel Ghani, Chairman of the Yemeni state consultative council, H.E. Dr. Amat Alrazzaq Ali Hummad, Yemeni Minister of Social Affairs and Labour, an The meeting also was organized by “Save the Children, Arab Human Rights Foundation and the Yemeni Disability Fund for Care and Rehabilitation.
The participants, were around seventy children and adults with and without disabilities from Middle East and North African region (Yemen, Qatar, Bahrain, Jordan, Sudan, Lebanon and Egypt.)
The participants confirmed that Children with disabilities experience widespread violations of their rights, many of which are common to those faced by adults – poverty, social exclusion, lack of accessible environments, violence. However, they also face additional abuses – abandonment as babies, institutionalisation, exclusion from education, and lack of birth registration, lack of respect for their evolving capacities, inappropriate child protection systems and so forth.
During the meeting, children consulted on how best to use the new Convention to promote and strengthen the rights of children with disabilities. Also, the participants discussed and commented on a child friendly version of the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.
Moreover, the participants discussed and contributed to the development of a CRPD implementation handbook that promotes the rights of children with disabilities and that will be published by Save the Children in 2008.
Pena Zhinson, regional representative of the Swedish organization for the care of children in the Middle East and North Africa expressed, “great satisfaction from the cooperation of the Yemeni government facilitating the convening of this meeting as well as the large participation by civil society organizations