Ensuring equal rights and opportunities for children with disabilities
Ahead of the European Day of Persons with Disabilities conference, Throskahjalp – The National Association of Intellectual Disabilities shares its priority to ensure the voices of children with disabilities are heard, and their views and experiences are taken into consideration.
Throskahjalp – The National Association of Intellectual Disabilities – is a human rights organisation in Iceland which bases its work on internationally accepted human rights agreements, such as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and the Sustainable Development Goals. Its golden rule is to focus first on those whose voices are least likely to be heard.
Throskahjalp works on several projects aimed at strengthening children’s rights and equal opportunities. It supports children with disabilities to participate in the Biannual Children’s Assembly, organised by the Ombudsman for Children. It is of utter importance that children with disabilities participate in these events with appropriate support to make sure that their voices are heard, and their views and experiences taken into consideration.
Throskahjalp is currently collaborating with eight other organisations, all working on the well-being of children, to launch a project called Advocates for Children’s Rights in Parliament. Representatives from all political parties in the Icelandic Parliament have nominated advocates who were informed by children about the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the challenges children felt most important to work on in their community. The advocates are Throskahjalp’s link to the Parliament, and the organisation and the children serve as experts for information and insight on issues related to the well-being of children.
Throskahjalp is also working on a digital information centre for immigrant families with children with disabilities. It is of great concern that those families often lack access to vital information and the support they need. Throskahjalp has created three animated videos about rights and services in five languages to disseminate information in an accessible format.
These are just a few examples of the projects Throskahjalp is working on with the well-being of children with disabilities in mind. There is a growing awareness that more needs to be done to make sure that children with disabilities enjoy equal rights and opportunities and Throskahjalp looks forward to playing an even bigger role in this positive development.