Save the Children International recently released their policy on inclusion of children with disabilities. Save the Children is a widely known global NGO movement working on children’s rights in conflict zones and poverty struck regions of the Global South as well as in the Global North. Their logo and activities are familiar to people of all ages in every corner of the world.
With this policy they are signalling very clearly that inclusion of children with disabilities is a priority for them – everywhere! Save the Children is a child rights organisation and all children have the same rights. The same logic applies to all humans. Human rights should be upheld by governments and enjoyed by everyone.
The Global Disability Summit (GDS) 2022 is right around the corner – this online high level meeting is planned for mid-February. The day before the main meeting, civil society (big and small OPDs and NGOs) is gathering to discuss how to transform development and humanitarian efforts and make it truly disability inclusive. For this to happen, these organisations need to work together and share experiences to learn from each other.
The Save the Children Disability inclusion policy is a great example of a strong weighty NGO accepting the challenge and taking the first step to change their way of working. To leave no one behind is essential in order to reach the Sustainable Development Goals. This includes the 240 million children living with disabilities.
The new Save the Children Global Strategy 2022-24 has the following transversal "promise" or "goal" and which, among other things, covers children with disabilities in addition to other groups; «Protect the rights of children most impacted by inequality and discrimination, now and for the future».
Save the Children's work is based on the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRPD is also an important framework) and that Article 2 (in the CRC) is central and aprerequisite for their work.
Article 2 clearly states that it applies to all children, regardless of ethnicity, gender, religion, language, and degree of function.
Now let’s hope that others will follow and take the necessary measures to raise awareness in their organisations and make their programmes inclusive of all persons with disabilities.