UN calls for more action on rights of children with disabilities

Media release

29 January 2019

IHC is pleased that the latest United Nations review tracking New Zealand’s progress on human rights has called for more action on the rights of children with disabilities.

The draft Universal Periodic Review (UPR), issued by the UN Human Rights Council, released its recommendations at the weekend.

IHC Director of Advocacy Trish Grant says the specific focus on the rights of children with disabilities, and their family and whānau, is both welcome and timely.

“Like all children, those with disabilities have rights to education and health – and most importantly, to feel safe and grow up in their community,” says Trish.

“This report reaffirms the importance of positive and practical steps to make sure children with disabilities have good childhoods alongside their non-disabled peers.

“Too often, children with disabilities tend to be overlooked in policy initiatives and service delivery.

In the report, Belgium recommends that New Zealand “strengthens efforts to combat the marginalization and discrimination of children with disabilities, especially in their access to health, education, care and protection services.”

Trish says it’s time we take down those barriers that children with disabilities face – so that they are included, and enjoy their rights on an equal basis with others.

“The emphasis on inclusive education and ensuring New Zealand meets international standards is especially welcome.

“I look forward to the Government’s response to the UPR recommendations, which is due in June 2019.”