Disabled Children in South Africa
Progress in implementing the Convention on the Rights of the Child
Despite the explicit inclusion of disability as a ground for protection against discrimination in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the provisions of Article 23, which specifically address the situation of disabled children, the reality of disabled children remains largely unchanged in most countries in the world. Widespread discrimination and abuse of their rights continues, and little international attention has yet focused on the need for governments to give a higher profile to the introduction of measures to end these abuses.
The international working group, Rights for Disabled Children, established in association with the Committee on the Rights of the Child in 1997 and funded by the Swedish International Development Agency, is seeking to gather and disseminate information on the situation of disabled children, in order to raise awareness and understanding both of the extent of violations of their rights and of the strategies that are needed to bring an end to those violations. In pursuit of this goal, it is undertaking a series of country visits to explore the situation of disabled children in different regions of the world. These visits will seek to:
• identify the extent of continuing violations of their rights
• examine the impact of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in addressing the situation of disabled children
• examine strategies being developed to address those violations
• examine the extent to which the voices of disabled children are being heard
• explore the role being played by DPOs and their effectiveness in promoting change
• highlight and disseminate examples of positive practice in respect of legislation, policy and implementation of the rights of disabled children
South Africa was selected as the first country to be visited, primarily because its Government has introduced a framework of progressive legislation and strategies designed to tackle historic discriminations against disabled people, but also because there has been significant action and involvement by Disabled People’s Organisations in the development of these initiatives. It therefore provides an interesting model from which to assess progress and possibilities for change.
To read the full report follow one of the links below,
South Africa Children's Report 2002 WORD
South Africa Children's Report 2002 RTF
South Africa Children's Report 2002 PDF