Dear Editor,

As a student, I am concerned about the above matter. Children with disabilities in Vanuatu often experience significant disadvantages which becomes a barrier in their lives.

Some forms of discrimination that these vulnerable groups encountered are: less likely to find employment, lack of financial support to education, experience poverty, and inadequate access to health care.

This type of situation means that the rights of children with disabilities are often denied which are mandated in the Vanuatu CRPD’s.

A research report collected from the ‘Voices of Pacific Children with Disability’ stated that although Vanuatu is being a signatory to both the CRPD and the CRC in 1989, it demonstrated little is known about the human rights situations of children with disabilities in Vanuatu.

This means that only 30% of disability cases are reported, while the other 60% is not known by the Institution responsible (Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, 2013).

A research survey conducted by the Vanuatu Women Centre (2011) revealed that, children with disability in Vanuatu appear to be more at risk of abuse, whether through forms of physical, emotional, sexual abuse and neglect in societies.

Children with disability are also at greater risk carriers to a disabled parent, such as the risk of not reporting an abuse case involving children with disability due to feelings of being shamed or social stigma and also of being neglected with the community.

Therefore, it is strongly recommended that the Government, NGOs, communities and parents should be more responsible to protect the welfare of children with disability and to ensure that they are safe and free from all forms of abuse so that the vulnerable group can enjoy full and decent life in dignity as well as their rights are better recognised.

Sam Tasombo

Student

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