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Children with disabilities in situations of armed conflict - a discussion paper

THOMAS, Edward
et al
November 2018

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During armed conflict, children with disabilities are caught in a vicious cycle of violence, social polarization, deteriorating services and deepening poverty. Global estimates suggest there are between 93 million and 150 million children with disabilities under the age of 15.Given that disability is often not reported due to stigma there is reason to believe actual prevalence could be much higher. Although efforts to ensure the fulfilment of their rights have improved, girls and boys with disabilities continue to remain among the most marginalized and excluded segment of the population. This is amplified during situations of armed conflict. The barriers to full participation they face on a day-to-day basis are intensified and compounded when infrastructure is destroyed, and services and systems are compromised and made inaccessible. This results in the further exclusion and marginalization of children with disabilities, and prevents them from accessing schooling, health and psychosocial support, or a means of escape from conflict.

 

When systems and services break down, children are also left more susceptible to violence. Injuries sustained by many children during armed conflict may also lead to long-term impairments. There are six grave violations of children’s rights and protection in armed conflict that are on the agenda of the United Nations (UN) Security Council; killing and maiming, recruitment and use of children, rape or other sexual violence, abduction, attacks on schools or hospitals, and denial of humanitarian access. Governments around the world have committed themselves to respect, promote, and fulfil the rights of children with disabilities, including in situations of armed conflict, and progress is being made. Efforts by a broad range of actors to implement the CRPD, CRC and other human rights instruments include the development of standards to address the rights and needs of persons with disabilities in humanitarian crises, and guidance on making humanitarian response, development and peacebuilding more inclusive. Efforts to improve the collection and use of data concerning children and adults with disabilities are also underway. Yet, as this discussion paper makes clear, much more needs to be done. Investments in disability-inclusive humanitarian action and recovery from crises will pay off, contributing towards a dividend of peace built on greater equality, tolerance and justice. 

Changing attitudes to child disability in Africa

THE LANCET
December 2014

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This brief editorial published in the Lancet highlights the situation of disabled children in Africa with reference to the 2014 publication of The African Report on Children with Disabilities by The African Child Policy Forum

 

The Lancet, Vol 384, No. 9959

Disability orientation

UNITED NATIONS CHILDREN'S FUND (UNICEF)
May 2013

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"This web-based disability orientation for staff is a multi-media, 40-minute video that includes interesting and thought provoking statements, resources and good practices from UNICEF and partners from across the globe. The objective of the orientation is to strengthen understanding of, and capacity to support, programming for children and women with disabilities. The Disability Orientation consists of two main modules, each module has five lessons. The first part of the Orientation provides an overview of the disability movement and what disability means according to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The second part of the Orientation focusses on how to mainstream disability through our work. The Orientation on Disability can be taken individually or in groups"
Note: Video is available with English subtitles as well as accessibility options like voice over and American Sign Language

Violating children's rights : harmful practices based on tradition, culture, religion or superstition

INTERNATIONAL NGO COUNCIL ON VIOLENCE AGAINST CHILDREN
October 2012

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"This short report is designed to complement other current activities in the UN system that are focusing on harmful practices and children and will hopefully lead to more effective action...The report first looks at the definition and scope of harmful traditional, cultural and religious practices violating children’s rights. Section 3 outlines the human rights context for their prohibition and elimination. Section 4 lists practices identified through a call for evidence issued by the International NGO Council earlier in 2012 and additional desk research. It also provides some examples of legal and other measures already taken to challenge and eliminate them. Section 5 provides recommendations for action by states, UN and UN-related agencies, INGOs, NGOs, national human rights institutions and others"
Briefing paper

After the millennium development goals

SAVE THE CHILDREN
April 2012

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This paper highlights Save the Children’s focus on ensuring that the post-2015 framework accounts for the needs and rights of all children. The paper presents some of the current questions and options being debated, reflects on the organisation’s experience with the MDGs and then outlines six essential criteria for any new development framework. This criteria includes attention to equity, participation, protection, accountability and sustainability, as well as clear roles and responsibilities for all actors, including the private sector

Child disciplinary practices at home : evidence from a range of low- and middle-income countries

UNITED NATIONS CHILDREN’S FUND (UNICEF)
2010

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This report analyses findings on child discipline from 35 Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) and Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) conducted in low and middle-income countries in 2005 and 2006. Questions on child discipline were addressed to the mother (or primary caregiver) of one randomly selected child aged 2-14 years in each household. The questionnaire asked whether any member of the household had used various disciplinary practices with that child during the past month. The survey covered eight violent disciplinary practices, some of which were psychological (such as shouting and name calling) while others were physical (such as shaking and hitting). The surveys also collected information on three nonviolent forms of discipline, such as explaining why a behaviour is wrong. Finally, interviewers asked the mother (or primary caregiver) about her or his personal beliefs regarding the need for physical punishment in child rearing"

See me, hear me : a guide to using the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities to promote the rights of children

LANSDOWN, Gerison
2009

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See Me, Hear Me examines how the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) can be used to support disabled children, alongside the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The guide analyses the inter-relationship of the two Conventions and provides examples of good practice on how both Conventions should be implemented by governments with regards to children. This guide is a useful tool for child and disability rights advocates, government officials, and anybody interested in child and/or disability rights

Children with disabilities in Rajshahi City : a situational analysis

RAHMAN, Sadikur
KHANAM, Wahida
ISLAM, Zeenatul
February 2008

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This study analyses the situation of children with disabilities in Rajshahi City Corporation, explores the nature of rights violation, investigates the factors behind the vulnerability of children with disabilities and reviews the state policies and community attitudes

Disability Convention, tips and strategies for implementation

LANSDOWN, Gerison
November 2007

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This fact sheet features a set of useful tips and strategies for the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities - based on the experience of implementing the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Specifically, it outlines the obligations of governments who have signed the treaty and information on how best to advocate on key issues

Child-friendly text UN disability convention

UNITED NATIONS CHILDREN'S FUND (UNICEF)
September 2007

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This resource clearly outlines the articles of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in a child-friendly format. This document would be an ideal teaching aid for disabled and non-disabled children. It includes easy-to-read explanations of concepts like: human rights, disability, ratification, universal design and accessibility. This source would be useful for anyone with an interest in teaching, child rights and disability and development

World report on violence against children

PINHEIRO, Paulo Sergio
August 2006

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This book presents "the outcome of the first comprehensive global attempt to describe the scale of all forms of violence against children and its impact. Violence is a problem that calls for a multisectoral response. This report approaches the issue from the combined perspectives of human rights, public health and child protection. This report asserts that no violence against children is justifiable and all forms of violence are preventable. The commitments made at international and national levels and the accumulated knowledge described in this report give us the necessary tools to protect children from violence, to prevent it from happening in the first place, and to mitigate the consequences"
Note: the report is available in individual pdf files from the link above

Disabled children’s rights : a practical guide

SAVE THE CHILDREN
May 2006

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This guide looks at how the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) relates to disabled children in developing countries.  Illustrated with examples of good practice from around the world, it makes the case for taking action to promote disabled children's rights

Implementing child rights in early childhood

OFFICE OF THE UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS (UNHCHR). Committee on the rights of the child
2005

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The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child publishes its interpretations of the content of human rights provisions, in the form of 'General Comments' on thematic issues. This 'General Comment' paper is about implementing child rights in early childhood. The definition of early childhood here is children from birth, through infancy and the pre-school years. Previous information available on the subject of human rights and early childhood development has been centred around child mortality, birth registration and health care. This paper aims to encourage recognition that ealy childhood is a critical period for the realisation of rights. Research has highlighted the particular risks to young children from malnutrition, disease, poverty, neglect, social exclusion and a range of other adversities. Proper prevention and intervention strategies during early childhood have the potential to impact positively on young children's current well being and future development

Protecting the rights of young children affected and infected by HIV/AIDS in Africa : updating strategies and reinforcing existing networks

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)
June 2003

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This report attempts to identify strategies, lines of action and innovative approaches to respond to the needs of young children faced by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Key issues addressed in the workshop and report are around obstacles that prevent the provision of appropriate services, key issues that affect young children, and the cultural and religious causes of discrimination. It suggests principles that should be observed in programming in this area, ways of advocating for the needs of young children affected by HIV/AIDS, and ways of moving forward by developing an action plan

A world fit for all children : including the rights of children with disabilities in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.|National plans of action : guidelines for inclusion

INCLUSION INTERNATIONAL
CANADIAN ASSOCIATION FOR COMMUNITY LIVING
March 2003

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Many governments are in the process of developing National Plans of Action to implement the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. This document is intended to present suggested guidelines for how to include the rights of disabled children into action plans in a way that promotes and protects inclusion

Toolkits : a practical guide to monitoring, evaluation and impact assessment

GOSLING, Louisa
EDWARDS, Mike
2003

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This field-tested toolkit has been designed to measure the extent to which programmes make a difference. The 2003 edition of Toolkits has been extended with contributions from SCF and beyond. It describes participatory methodologies, such as mapping and focus groups. It is divided into three sections: underlying principles, practical questions and tools. This new edition brings these up to date and discusses the implications of adopting a human rights approach to development and the increased emphasis on partnership. There are new chapters on impact assessment, monitoring and evaluating advocacy, as well as two new tools - one for improving planning, evaluation, and impact assessment and one for stakeholder analysis

What works? Promoting the rights of disabled children : guidelines for action

LANSDOWN, Gerison
2003

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The human rights of disabled children are violated in many ways. These guidelines lay out how they are excluded, abused and neglected. The first part of the publication looks at the stories of disabled children themselves. The second part explains how an effective framework can be developed, how the role of civil society can be strengthened and how the needs of children can be met. The guidelines are useful for disabled peoples' organisations, advocacy organisations and disability non-governmental organisations

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