7 Dec 2007

THE Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People, Patricia Lewsley, today backed the European-wide call for governments to implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

NICCY is a member of the European Network of Ombudspersons for Children (ENOC), which has called for all governments, including Northern Ireland’s Assembly, to ratify the Convention.

“This convention calls on governments to start a cultural change, emphasising equality, inclusion and non-discrimination for children with disabilities,” said Ms Lewsley.

“My office has consistently worked to help make sure children and young people with disabilities receive the best possible services, and that they are not discriminated against in any way.”

“We know from research that families with a disabled child are more likely to live in poverty and this together with other disadvantages must be addressed.

“Bringing these conventions into Northern Ireland’s law will be the first steps in supporting total inclusion of children with a disability into the future of Northern Ireland.

“I will be writing to the Office of First Minister and deputy First Minister drawing their attention to this joint statement.