Around the world, at least 93 million children—or 1 in 20 of those aged 14 or younger—live with a moderate or severe disability.
Each one of these children is more than a statistic; each child is a son or daughter, brother or sister, friend or classmate. Each should have the same rights and opportunities as any other child.
But they do not. Children with disabilities are targets of discrimination, exclusion, stigmatization, neglect, exploitation, violence and abuse. Worst of all, children with disabilities are too often invisible—ignored by governments and communities.
As UNICEF advocates, we believe that children with disabilities deserve equal dreams and equal lives. We believe in ZERO discrimination against children with disabilities. Children belong at the center of efforts to build inclusive societies, not simply as recipients of charity, but as agents of change.
- U.S. Senate
Everyone has a role to play in supporting the rights and needs of children with disabilities and their families. Governments must do their part by formally recognizing that children with disabilities have rights by ratifying the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Together with the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), this treaty commits governments to remove barriers that keep children with disabilities from participating in society and realizing their full potential.
It is time for the United States to ratify the CRPD! I support this important human rights treaty!
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