Child protection matters for children with disabilities – A case story
These stories come from a pilot project that lasted only nine months. The pilot was meant to get CBR organisations thinking about the safety and protection of girls and boys with disabilities in the communities where they work. Three areas needed to be addressed to improve the protection of girls and boys with disabilities:
- Building awareness on the rights of all children, including girls and boys with disabilities
- Building protective structures in the community
- Building the resilience of children and increasing child participation
Through interviews, it was found that all these intervention areas are meaningful. In less than a year first steps have been taken to increase the safety of girls and boys with disabilities in their communities. All those interviewed, whether children, parents or professionals, indicated there is a need to address the safety of girls and boys with disabilities. Current (government and non-government) community services do not yet include the protection of girls and boys with disabilities. Children themselves were happy to discover they were worth protecting, and brought in ideas to improve their own safety and that of their peers. It is recommended that in community-based initiatives for girls and boys with disabilities all three areas of intervention will be included. To end violence against girls and boys with disabilities, child protection has to become an integral part of the CBR approach.