- European Union Publications Office
- Publication date:
Paula Frederica Hunt
The issues related to children with disabilities have been largely absent from EU policy development and implementation and not much is documented with regards to the lives of children with disabilities and their families. The FSCG Country and PA Reports describe the life situation of children with disabilities and their families as dire in some countries and unknown in others. Families with children with disabilities tend to be poorer than other families, have less access to good-quality services, more difficulty in securing employment, and fewer opportunities to develop their social networks. While the EU Member States are signatories of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC – which is inclusive of children with disabilities), and the EU and its Member States are signatories of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD – which is specific to children with disabilities), the European Disability Strategy 2020 is mostly silent on their inherent obligations under both Conventions. Despite normative frameworks, most children with disabilities in the EU Member States still have very different life experiences from their peers without disabilities: - they still do not have adequate access to nutrition that fits their needs and is of high quality; - they still lack opportunities to attend and participate in inclusive Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC); - they largely remain separated from their peers without disabilities in education settings, being placed in special schools or in special classes in regular schools; - they still have difficulty accessing quality healthcare – both primary healthcare and specialised care; and - they still live in environments that do not adequately respond to their needs.