World Children's Day 2020

Today is World Children’s Day which was in established in 1954 to promote international togetherness, awareness among children worldwide, and improving children's welfare.

A young girl with Down Syndrome smiles as she climbs a structure in a playground

November 20th is an important date as it is when in 1959 the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child . It is also the date in 1989 when the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child .

It is important to remember that the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child is about all children as rights holders including children with disabilities. The 2006 United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities reinforces this.

 Below is some statistics for you from the 2013 Disability Survey. Beyond the disability statistics we urge you to celebrate – diversity, potential, participation and belonging.

  • 11% of children (0-14 years) in New Zealand were disabled.
  • Māori children (0-14 years) had a disability rate of 15%, compared with 9% for non-Māori children.
  • Māori boys (0-14 years) had higher rates of disability than Māori girls, that is, 19% and 10% respectively.
  • Physical disability rates for children (0-14 years) were low for both boys and girls, that is, 2% and 1% respectively.
  • The most common disability type for children was a learning difficulty. 6% of children experienced a learning difficulty, whereas 52% of disabled children experienced such a difficulty.
  • For children, conditions that existed at birth were the most common cause of disability (49%). For a further 33% of children, the principal causes of disability included:
    • conditions on the autism spectrum
    • attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
    • developmental delay
    • dyslexia
    • dyspraxia.

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