« When we see the handicap before we see the child, it not only affects the child in question, but also deprives society of what that child has to offer, » says UNICEF Director General Anthony Lake.
Often marginalised by society and the victims of discrimination, handicapped children are prevented from flourishing and fully developing their potential.
UNICEF notes that a third of the world’s countries have not ratified the Convention on the Rights of Disabled Persons – thereby undermining recognition of their status and impeding their integration into society.
In fact, it is in the interest of governments to enable such children to play an active role in society. Through the realisation of their gifts and their potential, their inclusion will benefit their whole community. So the public interest is very well served by efforts to develop ways of life that are accessible to all in society.
« So that handicapped children count, they must first be counted – at birth, at school and in life in general, » remarked Mr Lake on the release of the UNICEF report « The situation of children in the world in 2013 »