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Take us seriously! Engaging children with disabilities in decisions affecting their lives

LANSDOWNE, Gerison
et al
June 2013

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UNICEF’s work on disability is based on a human rights approach, with a focus on equity. It has been developed within the framework of inclusive development, and actively promotes the social model of disability. A central tenet is that legislation, policies and programmes must be informed and shaped by the children they will affect. Participation is a foundational principle of a rights-based approach. These guidelines are meant to strengthen the capacity of UNICEF and partners in creating opportunities for children with disabilities to exercise their right to be heard and taken seriously.

It is important to:

  • clearly identify obstacles impeding the participation of children with disabilities;
  • examine why participation is important for children with disabilities;
  • provide practical guidance on how and where to reach out and engage children with disabilities more effectively and systematically;
  • prioritize ways to measure the effectiveness of participatory initiatives with children with disabilities. 

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