Participation of Children with Disabilities in Participation Bodies in Four Municipalities of Nicaragua

Disability is part of human diversity and the human condition. Children who are born with or acquire a disability are the full bearers of rights, including the right to decide on and implement a life project that allows them to develop with dignity in inclusive social environments.

The Committee on the Rights of the Child has identified that “children with disabilities are still experiencing serious difficulties and facing barriers to the full enjoyment of [their] rights.” The barriers here are not the disability itself, “but rather a combination of social, cultural, attitudinal and physical obstacles which children with disabilities encounter in their daily lives.” (CRC 2007, subsection 5)

Nicaragua no exception to this reality. The unfavourable conditions experienced by children with disabilities and the concealment of their realities and demands are not the result of the disability, but rather of obstacles related to society (discrimination, prejudices, social imaginaries that conceal or ignore them, exclusionary community dynamics), the family (overprotection), communication (limited teaching of sign language or braille, absence of sign language interpreters) and architecture (public infrastructure of limited access for people who use auxiliary aids), all of which limits the development of their potentialities.

The objective of this study was to conduct an assessment of the participation of children with disabilities in bodies representing children in selected municipalities in Nicaragua. Research was carried out with the municipalities involved, the Network of Child-friendly Municipal Governments (RGM) and Save the Children International.

Published 2016-03-29

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