Children’s rights for all!

Implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child for children with intellectual disabilities


Date of publication:  01 Oct 2011 Authors:  Jan Siska Publisher:  Inclusion Europe Publication type:  Report / Study / Data

This publication provides an overview of the situation of children with intellectual disabilities in twenty two European countries, with a particular focus on five areas: protection against abuse, family support and (de-)institutionalisation, health, education, and participation of children. It recommends steps to be taken to remove barriers to their inclusion. The publication is based on a series of Country Reports that paint a rather distressing picture of the situation of children with intellectual disabilities. All of them state that there is very limited evidence on how the rights of children with intellectual disabilities are upheld in the researched countries. The results of the survey show that CRC implementation from the perspective of children with intellectual disabilities is far from satisfactory in all five areas. While some attention has been paid to education and health, the European countries should focus also on other areas such as abuse and participation of children with intellectual disabilities. Despite progress and positive developments in the area of education and de-institutionalisation, many children with intellectual disabilities continue to be educated exclusively in segregated settings or are placed in long-term residential institutions. It has been acknowledged by civil society, governments and experts that children with intellectual disabilities are generally at greater risk of becoming victims of psychological and physical violence, sexual abuse and bullying, especially in institutions or at schools. While progress in favour of inclusive education can be seen in many countries, access to mainstream education for pupils with intellectual disabilities is still rather modest. While in Europe access to basic health care is ensured for all children, the Country Reports reveal huge disparities among the EU countries. The publication ends with recommendations for actions that should be given priority by policy makers at European, national, regional and local levels to ensure equal opportunities for children with intellectual disabilities.

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European Union

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