The Malta Independent 20 August 2019, Tuesday

Investing in inclusive education offers protection to children with different abilities – MEP Dalli

Friday, 17 June 2016, 12:22 Last update: about 4 years ago

A recent study by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) concluded that children with special needs are at a bigger risk of experiencing physical, psychological and sexual abuse. The same study confirms that these children are less likely to find protection when experiencing abuse. Worse still in the majority of cases they are completely neglected.

In the light of these findings Maltese MEP Miriam Dalli emphasized that while safeguarding and including children with special needs falls within the remit of member states, the European Commission should not shy away from supporting national efforts.

“Promoting and safeguarding children’s rights should be of utmost importance for the EU as stated also in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU. In view of this I will continue pressuring the European Commission to make sure that children with different abilities are well integrated in our communities,” Miriam Dalli said.

Dr Dalli called on the Commission to give its full attention to cases of abuse, violence or bullying that children with disability do endure. She also inquired about the Commission’s past action on such cases.

The European Commission replied that each Member State ratified the United Nations Convention on Children’s Rights that lists all the rights enjoyed by children. Such rights span from political rights to social rights and from economic rights to health rights amongst others.

Meanwhile during the 9th edition of the European Forum on Children’s Rights, the European Commission tabled ten principles that aim towards protecting children. The European Union’s Programme for Rights, Equality and Citizenship was also highlighted as an important tool in this regard.

Furthermore, in their 2015 Joint Report on the implementation of the strategic framework for European cooperation in Education and training, the Council and Commission committed themselves to improve access to inclusive education for persons with different abilities.

In her reaction Miriam Dalli emphasized that such inclusive education should become universal and no one should be left behind. “Education is the best foundation towards protection of minors, irrespective of their abilities. In this spirit all member states, Malta included, need to invest further in inclusive education that strives to achieve our children’s full potential, providing them the needed tools to progress in their careers” concluded Miriam Dalli.

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