Hasmik Margaryan’s Speech during the “Child’s Rights in the Eyes of Children” Conference

Children with disabilities are one of the most isolated and vulnerable groups in the entire world. Today, there are 181,000 individuals with disabilities in the Republic of Armenia, of which 9,000 are children. According to the research of 2012, 13% of these children do not attend school. 77% do not receive any recovery service, and a third of them do not take part in any communal events. However, this is only the official data. In reality, the amount of children with disabilities in Armenia comprises a much larger number.

Regrettably, especially in the provincial divisions of the Republic of Armenia there are a group of parents, restrained by stereotypes, that, let’s say, do not accept the fact that their child has a disability. As a result of this all, many children with disabilities do not possess the relevant documents regarding the special category of a disability.

We must note that this all is also considered violence toward a child since, ignoring the rights of the child, we deprive them from their opportunity of full participation in social life.

Facing discrimination every day, which is displayed through both negative attitudes and the absence of appropriate legislation and policies, children with disabilities are unable to make use of their rights in the spheres of health, education and other communal fields. Since I very often witness the restriction of the rights and freedom of these children, I would wish to live in a country where society would depict a rather favorable attitude toward children with disabilities, especially in the sphere of public education. I would wish to live in a country where the society will not pity this child, but it will finally respect and accept them as human diversity.

And after all, a country where state assistance will be more visible, especially for the improvement of the quality of life for children with disabilities in the provinces.