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UNICEF 2013 State of the World's Children Report - 1st focus on Children with Disabilities

The global launch of the UNICEF State of the World's Children - Children with Disabilities Report- took place in Vietnam and a simultaneous panel discussion, “Society for All: Overcoming Barriers to Exclusion”, held May 30th at UNICEF House in New York. Panelists at the NYC event addressed key challenges:

Ipul Powaseu,  Chairperson of Papua New Guinea Assembly of Disabled Persons on the intersection of gender and disability; Olga Montufar Contreras , President of Fundación Paso a Paso and contributor to SOWC 2013, on the issues of indigenous peoples with disabilities; Emma Pearce, Senior Program Officer – Disability, Women’s Refugee Commission on persons with disabilities in humanitarian emergencies; and Gopal Mitra, UNICEF Programme Specialist, on adolescents and youth with disabilities  

UNICEF expresses the UN agency's aims in publishing this latest version of the Report and the focus on children with disabilities: 'With this report, UNICEF hopes to add a strong voice and increased visibility to the global, necessary and increasingly urgent debate about disability rights, especially those of children. State of the World’s Children 2013: Children with Disabilities focuses on the position of children with disabilities in a varying worldwide landscape: how do they fare at home, in school, or at health care centres? What happens to children with disabilities in emergencies or conflict? How do these situations fluctuate around the world?  The report asks readers to consider the lost opportunities in denying the full potential of these children.

The State of the World’s Children 2013 argues for inclusive and equitable approaches in such areas as early childhood development, education, health, nutrition, humanitarian response and protection. Based on documented experience and examples, the report will recommend ways in which governments, the private sector, international donors and agencies, and other stakeholders can help advance this agenda.

The report gives a voice to children to encourage their position as architects and agents of change in their towns, villages and cities, and to engage a dialogue leading toward equal treatment of all children, regardless of ability.  To this end, in addition to the main narrative and expert technical panels, the report features perspectives, or personal essays, by policymakers, parents, care providers, celebrities and role models with disabilities and, most significantly, young people with disabilities that have accomplished personal or professional goals or are striving to do so. The hope is that report will foster greater attention on these children’s global needs and remarkable potential.'

With the global launch of The State of the World’s Children 2013: Children with Disabilities in May, UNICEF wants to encourage global dialogue and concurrent policy and action. Hence, UNICEF invites all partners and stakeholders to spread the word, develop commentaries, and arrange events related to it. Working together, we can improve the lives of all children.'