Check against delivery
I am honoured to deliver this intervention on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic States: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden and my own country Iceland.
We thank the panellists for their interventions and particularly appreciate that the voices of children have been brought to this debate.
Children with disabilities hold the same rights as all children and their empowerment depends upon the realization of those rights. The Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities provide a robust policy and legal framework to achieve the rights for children with disabilities.
We are all committed to the goal of achieving self-determination and full participation in society of persons with disabilities, and that includes children with disabilities. A crucial element in ensuring the meaningful participation of children with disabilities in society is inclusive education.
We need to take a holistic approach to ensuring the inclusion of children in society and education, ensuring that families and communities are supported to enable their inclusion. Similarly, in our experience working towards fully inclusive education requires our different agencies, ministries and municipalities working together across traditional sectors so that the right of each child is realized. It is also urgent that civil society is involved in this work.
Finally, it is worth mentioning that children with disabilities also receive education on their autonomy and rights, including comprehensive sexuality education, as well as how to protect themselves from violence and abuse in the same way as other children. Without it, we fall short of delivering a truly inclusive education.
In closing, we would like to ask the panel to share best practises or examples of supportive policies to families and communities that support inclusive education.