On September 25th 2015, 193 world leaders adopted the 17 Global Goals to end extreme poverty, fight inequality & injustice and tackle climate change within the next 15 years. A collective effort from civil society and disability advocates, including AbleChildAfrica, has resulted in a 2030 Agenda that is inclusive of disabled people – and has some exciting commitments for disabled children and young people.
A (potential!) game changer for disabled children
As often the most marginalized in their communities, disabled children and their families have been left behind in the mainstream development agenda as efforts, through initiatives such as the Millennium Development Goals, focused on wider issues from enrolling children in primary school to improving maternal health. However this time around the Sustainable Development Goals or ‘Global Goals’, have targeted commitments for disabled children and young people – taking a big leap towards fulfilling our vision of a world where disabled children can fulfil their potential.
Education is key to disabled children becoming equal members of society and achieving their dreams. AbleChildAfrica and our partners campaign for the rights of disabled children to an inclusive quality education and provides these essential services to children and their families. Therefore we welcome commitment in Goal 4 to ensuring access to education for all, including disabled children and young people, to an inclusive and equitable education at all levels and a recognition of the need to upgrade school facilities to make them accessible.
But education is not enough; disabled children especially in developing countries face many barriers. Therefore we also welcome recognition in the Global Goals to empower disabled people, of whom more than 80% live in poverty, to overcome these barriers and for inclusion across the whole agenda.
From ideas to action, making the Global Goals a reality
Whilst recognising the significance of 2030 Agenda, the 17 Goals will not bring about the urgent change needed for disabled children on their own.
Luckily for our world leaders much of the work has already begun, from Action Network for The Disabled (ANDY) using sports to get children into school in Nairobi to Child Support Tanzania providing essential nutrition to young disabled children in Mbeya, enabling them to thrive. The time has come for governments and the wider development community to live up to their responsibilities to disabled children, by supporting those already leading the way and mainstreaming disability to ensure that ‘no one is left behind’.
With the many demands on today’s governments it is only with public pressure, in all countries, that this agenda will be met. Now these Goals have been adopted it is everyone’s responsibility, as global citizens, to raise awareness as Stephan Hawking says in this video ‘You can’t fight for your rights if you don’t know what they are’
Below – AbleChildAfrica helping to hold up the Global Goals at at the #lighttheway event with the action/2015 campaign
- Want to know more? Visit the Global Goals website
- Work with children? Teach them the ‘World’s Largest Lesson’
- Communicating the Global Goals? Use the IDDC Easy Read
- What happened in New York? IDDC round-up
For more information on our advocacy work email email@example.com