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UN recommendations push for more inclusion

UN recommendations push for more inclusion
Media release – 8 October 2016
IHC welcomes the strong recommendations made to the New Zealand Government by the United Nations Committee on Rights of the Child, to respect the human rights of disabled children and do more to ensure they are fulfilled.

IHC is encouraged that these key moves have been included within the Committee’s recommendations for improved planning and processes to ensure children’s rights, and is calling on the Government to take them seriously.

Today’s recommendations follow advice in the Counting What Matters report, which is the first paper ever to be tabled at the UN Committee that addresses the rights of children with disabilities in New Zealand.

“We’re pleased that the Committee has recommended better data collection about disabled children’s access to health, education, care and protection and justice, and an end to the discrimination experienced in many settings,” says IHC Director of Advocacy Trish Grant.

“The Committee has recommended improvements to the delivery of inclusive education. IHC hopes that this call is responded to seriously by government.

The Committee’s recommendation comes at a time when IHC and other family membership organisations, disabled people and educators are united in their plea to government to invest better in inclusive education in a way which supports disabled children and schools.”

It’s been nearly three decades since the Education Act gave children with a disabilities the same rights to enrolment and education as anyone else. Yet, while improvements have been made, there’s significant work that needs to be done to make our education system more inclusive to disabled children and young people.

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“The need to enforce the right of inclusive education, and the creation of a tribunal so people can challenge education access decisions, are a logical next step which we encourage the Government to follow through with,” says Trish.
The recommendations reinforce IHC’s stance that the lack of a coherent, rights-based approach to government services for disabled children and their families has significant detrimental effects on their wellbeing and life outcomes. Also, that disabled children remain marginalised and children with intellectual disability or developmental delay are barely visible in strategic documents and child policy.

“We know that with inclusive education, all children participate fully and achieve, and this achievement continues into adult life,” Trish says.
IHC is in discussions with the Ministry of Education following legal action taken against the Government, alleging disabled children experience discrimination at school and is calling for access to an independent education review tribunal.

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