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Human Rights Advocates Speak Up To End Discrimination Denying Disable Children With The Same Right To Equal Education and Other Opportunities

Experts debating the issue agree children with disabilities must be provided with an education on an equal basis with all children. They consider this a crucial step toward their empowerment and the realization of other key rights.

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Overview of the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, June 26 2018. VOA

Human rights advocates are calling for an end to the discrimination that denies children with disabilities the same right to an equal education and other opportunities available to other children in society. The U.N. Human Rights Council is holding a special session in Geneva on the empowerment of children with disabilities.

In keeping with the theme of the day, the U.N. has made the Council chamber wheelchair-accessible, has hired a sign interpreter for the hearing impaired, and has embossed some oral statements in Braille.

With these accommodations to children with disabilities, the U.N. is sending a message that it practices what it preaches. It is saying children with disabilities will be able to lead a full and fulfilling life on a par with other children if certain adaptations are made to their needs.

FILE - Displaced Syrian children push a boy with disability on makeshift wheelchair at a camp for displaced people in the northern Idlib province, Aug. 29, 2018.
Displaced Syrian children push a boy with disability on makeshift wheelchair at a camp for displaced people in the northern Idlib province, Aug. 29, 2018. VOA

However, the United Nations reports the sad reality is that 93 million children with disabilities around the world are likely to have their rights violated from the moment they are born. It says millions of these children are torn from their families and placed in institutions where they are at risk of violence, abuse and neglect.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, is a medical doctor and a pediatrician. In her practice, she says she quickly learned the voices of disabled children too often go unheard.

FILE - U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet attends a news conference at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Dec. 5, 2018.
U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet attends a news conference at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Dec. 5, 2018. VOA

“While preparing for today, I was remembering when I just started to be a pediatrician how people will leave the situation of children with disabilities. It was much more complicated. People denied, people hide those children. They will put them sort of in boxes so they will not really be able to develop. They will speak — even doctors in front of the children — like either they did not hear or that they did not exist.”

Experts debating the issue agree children with disabilities must be provided with an education on an equal basis with all children. They consider this a crucial step toward their empowerment and the realization of other key rights.

Also Read: “Violence Against Women And Girls Is The Most Widespread Human Rights Violation on Earth” Activists Campaign to End Violence Against Women

They say the empowerment of children with disabilities also depends upon the implementation of laws, policies and measures to tackle harmful social norms and protect them from discrimination, stigma and abuse.

High Commissioner Bachelet says children with disabilities are among the most likely to be left behind and the least likely to be heard. She says they have the right to raise their voices and to be heard in decisions affecting their lives. (VOA)

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Starting With The 2024 Hurricane Season, U.S. Meteorologists Replaces Hurricane Names Florence, Michael

The United Nations' World Meteorological Organization maintains six lists with 21 names each that are organized alphabetically and alternate between male and female names.

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A hog farm is inundated with floodwaters from Hurricane Florence near Trenton, North Carolina, Sept. 16, 2018. VOA

Hurricanes Florence and Michael, which caused widespread death and destruction in the United States last year, have earned the dubious distinction of having their names retired.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Wednesday that the two names will be replaced with Francine and Milton, starting with the 2024 hurricane season.

Damage caused by Hurricane Michael is seen in Mexico Beach, Florida, U.S., October 16, 2018.
Damage caused by Hurricane Michael is seen in Mexico Beach, Florida, U.S., October 16, 2018. VOA

The United Nations’ World Meteorological Organization maintains six lists with 21 names each that are organized alphabetically and alternate between male and female names.

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Names are retired when meteorologists determine that a hurricane has been so destructive that reusing its name would be insensitive. Pixabay

Each list is used once every six years. The current group goes from 2018 to 2023, with the cycle restarting in 2024.

Also Read:  Cardiovascular Events Cause 58% Deaths Among Diabetics

Names are retired when meteorologists determine that a hurricane has been so destructive that reusing its name would be insensitive.

The first hurricane name to be retired was Carol, in 1954. So far, 88 names have been dropped from the list. (VOA)