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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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71% Parents Feel That Video Games May Have Positive Impact on Kids

71% parents believe video games good for teens

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86 per cent of parents agree that teeagers spend too much time on video games. Pixabay

Seventy-one per cent of parents believe that video games may have a positive and healthy impact on their kids’ lifestyle, while 44 per cent try to restrict video game content, says a new study.

According to the CS Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health in US, 86 per cent of parents agree that teeagersspend too much time gaming. Parents also reported very different gaming patterns for teenage boys than girls.

Twice as many parents said that their teen boy plays video games every day compared to parents of teen girls. Teen boys are also more likely to spend three or more hours gaming.

“Although many parents believe video games can be good for teens, they also report a number of negative impacts of prolonged gaming,” said poll co-director Gary Freed from University of Michigan.

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Parents can play an important role by setting clear rules about appropriate content and how much time is too much time spent on video games. Pixabay

“Parents should take a close look at their teen’s gaming behaviour and set reasonable limits to reduce harmful impacts on sleep, family and peer relationships and school performance,” Freed added.

Overall, parents surveyed said that gaming often gets in the way of other aspects of their teen’s life, such as family activities and interactions (46 per cent), sleep (44 per cent), homework (34 per cent), friendship with non-gaming peers (33 per cent) and extracurricular activities (31 per cent).

Parents of teens ages 13-15 (compared to those with older teens) are more likely to use rating systems to try to make sure games are appropriate (43 per cent versus 18 per cent), encourage their teen to play with friends in person rather than online and to ban gaming in their teen’s bedroom.

Parents polled also use different strategies to limit the amount of time their teen spends gaming, including encouraging other activities (75 per cent), setting time limits (54 per cent), providing incentives to limit gaming (23 per cent) and hiding gaming equipment (14 percent).

The researchers noted that while gaming may be a fun activity in moderation, some teens -such as those with attention issues — are especially susceptible to the constant positive feedback and the stimulus of video games.

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This may lead to prolonged play that is disruptive to other elements of a teen’s life, the researchers added.

“Parents can play an important role by setting clear rules about appropriate content and how much time is too much time spent on video games,” Freed said. (IANS)