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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

Strengthening participation of children and young people with disability in advocacy

SIMMONS, Dr. Catharine
ROBINSON, Dr. Sally
October 2014

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Participation by children and young people in advocacy and change-making can not only improve and foster positive change in their own lives, but also influence the lives of others. When young people’s participation is supported, meaningful and engaged, multiple benefits accrue; their perspectives and experiences bring a unique contribution and can result in rights-based empowerment, enacted citizenship and improved relationships. This has the potential to shape policy, to increase the relevance and responsiveness of organisations they use, and to influence change in their communities in positive ways

 

However, there are significant issues and a range of barriers that discourage, prevent or actively exclude children and young people with disability from participating. A culture of low expectations, social and cultural barriers, relationship and identity difficulties and practical hurdles exist for many young people. As a result, many are precluded from participation, particularly around change-making activities

 

This paper examines how meaningful participation of children and young people with disability in advocacy and change-making can be strengthened. In the paper CDA calls for the promotion of children and young people’s participation as active and valued community members

 

This paper is also available at https://www.cyda.org.au/cda-issue-papers

 

Issue Papers

HRW says disabled children in Russia face violence, isolation, neglect

PODELCO, Grant
September 2014

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This article reports on the Human Rights Watch (HRW) report which documents how children with disabilities in Russian orphanages face abuse, neglect and isolation.  The report found that nearly 30 percent of all Russian children with disabilities are removed from their parents and live in state orphanages, where they face neglect and sometimes violence. The report recommendations push for the government and other actors to protect children in institutions from abuse and neglect, better support families raising children with disabilities, and move toward ending institutionalisation of children with disabilities. This article presents seven photo slides, a case study, the key findings and recommendations of the report, an interview with the author and a link to the related HRW video

Abandoned by the state : violence, neglect, and isolation for children with disabilities in Russian orphanages

MAZZARINO, Andrea
September 2014

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This report presents the situation of violence, neglect, and isolation for children with disabilities in Russian orphanages.  The report is based on visits by Human Rights Watch researchers to 10 orphanages in 6 regions of Russia, as well as on more than 200 interviews with parents, children, and young people currently and formerly living in institutions in these regions in addition to 2 other regions of Russia. It finds that many children and young people with disabilities who have lived in state orphanages suffered serious abuse and neglect on the part of institution staff that impedes their development. The report presents the background of the current situation and its detailed findings. and makes recommendations to key Russian stakeholders to ensure protection of the rights of children with disabilities in Russia and to comply with its international human rights obligations

Note: Easy read version is available from the web link

Inclusion in education : towards equality for students with disability

COLOGON, Kathy
2013

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All children in Australia have the right to an inclusive education. However, there are many barriers to the realisation of this right in the lived experience of children and families. Current efforts towards upholding the rights of all children are impeded by a lack of understanding of inclusive education and misappropriation of the term. Additional barriers include negative and discriminatory attitudes and practices, lack of support to facilitate inclusive education, and inadequate education and professional development for teachers and other professionals. Critical to addressing all of these barriers is recognising and disestablishing ableism in Australia.

This paper draws from recent research in addressing gaps in current understanding to provide a firm basis from which to inform research based policy development. Taking a rights-based approach, the paper focuses on developing a clear understanding of inclusive education and identifying strategies to enhance the education of all children in Australia

Enabling and protecting : proactive approaches to addressing the abuse and neglect of children and young people with disability

ROBINSON, Sally
2012

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Many families report to Children with Disability Australia (CDA) that their children are subjected to limited opportunities, low expectations, exclusion, bullying, discrimination, assault, and violation of their human rights.

 

This paper draws from recent research about abuse and neglect and from national policy approaches in child protection and disability to better understand the causes, experience and responses to maltreatment of children and young people with disability.

 

A series of key concerns about abuse and neglect are raised to stimulate discussion and action which is in the interests of children and young people. Taking a rights informed approach, the paper focuses on building more effective national responses to children and young people who are maltreated

 

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Rocking the cradle : ensuring the rights of parents with disabilities and their children

NATIONAL COUNCIL ON DISABILITY
2012

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"The report analyzes how U.S. disability law and policy apply to parents with disabilities in the child welfare and family law systems, and the disparate treatment of parents with disabilities and their children. Examination of the impediments prospective parents with disabilities encounter when accessing assisted reproductive technologies or adopting provides further examples of the need for comprehensive protection of these rights"

Out from the shadows : sexual violence against children with disabilities

ELLERY, Francis
LANSDOWNE, Gerison
CSÁKY, Corinna
2011

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This document is an advocacy report on sexual violence against children with disabilities. It is based on evidence generated from a literature review and primary research in four African countries. Adults with disabilities who had been abused as children were interviewed, as well as carers, lawyers, judges, police, social workers, teachers and members of disabled people's organisations. The report concludes with a set of recommendations, developed in consultation with children, young people and professionals working globally on this issue

Including disabled children in psychosocial programmes in areas affected by armed conflict

VON DER ASSEN, Nina
EUWEMA, Mathijs
CORNIELJE, Huib
2010

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"Children with disabilities are more vulnerable to violence, as well as more likely to experience psychosocial problems in situations of armed conflict than children with no disabilities. All children who live in conflict affected areas have the same rights to psychosocial support, as enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child and in the case of disabled children, additionally the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. However, children with disabilities are often overlooked in psychosocial programmes. In this article, the authors examine the reasons behind this observed exclusion and suggest ways to increase the participation of children with disabilities"
Intervention, Vol 8, No 1

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