UNICEF's annual report, State of the World's Children 2013, highlights the issues, needs and circumstances of children with disabilities. The report describes the current responses to children with disabilities are largely focused on institutionalization, abandonment, and neglect. In fact, institutionalization of
children with disabilities often extends into adulthood:
"Millions of children with disabilities are separated from their families and placed in orphanages, boarding schools, psychiatric facilities and social care homes. Children who survive institutions face the prospect of lifetime segregation from society in facilities for adults."
Children with disabilities face discrimination, exclusion from education, health and other public services, and unequal access to resources. The report features powerful personal testimonials and recommendations from children, parents, and advocates. As a response, UNICEF calls on governments, organizations, and individuals to fully include these children into all realms of life. The report's "Agenda for Action" suggests fighting discrimination, dismantling barriers to inclusion, ending institutionalization, supporting families, moving beyond minimum standards, coordinating services to support children, and involving children in decision-making.
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