CALL: How to treat disabled children / by Erich Kofmel

The United Nations Secretary-General's Special Envoy on Disability and Accessibility, a former chairperson of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, is developing a "'Campaign for the Good Treatment of Girls, Boys and Adolescents with Disabilities in the World', to contribute to the prevention of mistreatment of girls, boys and adolescents with disabilities".

They say: "The formulation of a 'Decalogue' [ten statements in easy language], which is the basic product of this campaign, has been the result of intense multidisciplinary work based on a focus group and interviews with children and adolescents with disabilities, and also with adults with disabilities, around to his [or her or their] childhood experiences.

"The decalogue expresses ideas in a simple, clear, direct and first-person way, so that it is understood by people of different ages and regions of the world. It is the children who speak to the community. Surely there are phrases that will seem 'obvious', but we have to reach everyone, 'leaving no one behind'.

"As a team, the Office of the Special Envoy of the SG-UN on Disability and Accessibility have opened a period of extensive consultations with civil society of persons with disabilities. Your contribution will be very valuable to reach the final version of the decalogue, which will be disseminated globally."

You can find the text of the draft decalogue below, in English and Spanish. Comments should be sent to Paula Arroyave Escaffi, Lawyer and Assistant of the Special Envoy:

The deadline for comments is 21 May.

Please submit comments on behalf of an (autistic-led) organization rather than individually. Comments you'd like Autistic Minority International to make should be sent to us as soon as possible:

Please don't forget to consult with autistic children and adolescents on this!

From Children and Adolescents with Disabilities to families,
caregivers, educators and society.
1) I exist and I am a person
2) I like that you love me and cuddle me
3) I like that you take care of me when I am in need, being attentive should something happens to me
4) I want you to accept me as I am, and to recognize my abilities and talents
5) I like that you listen to me, explain to me what is happening and consider my opinion
6) I like that you trust me and that you teach me
7) I need you to understand me and accompany me when I am upset or angry
8) I like that you include me
9) I want you to respect and take care of my body
10) It matters to me that you believe me

Desde los Niños, Niñas y Adolescentes con Discapacidad para las familias, cuidadores, educadores y sociedad.
1) Yo existo y soy persona
2) Me gusta que me quieras y me hagas cariño
3) Me gusta que me cuides cuando lo necesito, estando atento/a si algo me pasa
4) Quiero que me aceptes tal cual soy, y que reconozcas mis habilidades y talentos
5) Me gusta que me escuches, que me expliques lo que pasa y consideres mi opinión
6) Me gusta que confíes en mi y que me enseñes
7) Necesito que me comprendas y acompañes cuando estoy triste o enojado
8) Me gusta que me incluyas
9) Quiero que respetes y cuides mi cuerpo
10) Me importa que me creas