United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF)
'Improving the Health Care Access for Disables Children.'
Description of the Committee
"UNICEF works for the world in which every child has a fair chance in life."
In December 11th, 1946 the General Assembly voted to establish UNICEF the “United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund” as an aftermath of the devastation of World War two. UNICEF was created to provide food, clothing and healthcare to children that had been affected by the war. After the emergency of WW2 food and healthcare situation, UNICEF became a permanent part of the United Nations in 1953 and its name changed to “United Nations Children's Fund”. In 1961 UNICEF decided to address children’s needs of education. After nearly a decade of focusing on children health, they started training teachers and gathering classroom equipment and volunteers to head to developing countries in need of education. The UNICEF’s headquarters are located in New York. UNICEF operates in more than 190 countries mainly focusing on areas where children are at risk. UNICEF won a Nobel peace prize on October 26, 1965, 19 years after UNICEF’s foundation, for "fulfilling the condition of Nobel's will, the promotion of brotherhood among the nations and emerging on the world stage as a peace factor of great importance.” And throughout the years UNICEF has continued to fulfill those wishes.
UNICEF | United Nations Children's Fund. (n.d.). Retrieved October 2, 2015.
Our history. (n.d.). Retrieved October 2, 2015.
The History of UNICEF. (2013, June 17). Retrieved October 2, 2015.
UNICEF Nobel Prize History. (n.d.). Retrieved October 2, 2015.
Introduction to the Topic
Children with disabilities are those who have difficulty doing the ordinary childhood activities. These children usually have physical and emotional health problems that make it difficult for them to participate in activities, get along with other children, communicate, and learn.
Children with disabilities are one of the most excluded groups in society. Facing discrimination and inequality. Studies state that there are approximately 93 million children with disabilities around the world. Many of them are among the poorest children around the world and do not have access to education, sanitary needs, nutrition and medical services. Many times their disabilities worsen their situation.
Children with disabilities with long-term health care needs, tend to use more health services than children with other disabilities.
Children with disabilities should have:
❏ “Appropriate and comprehensive coverage.”
❏ “Appropriate utilization controls with gatekeepers familiar with the needs of children with disabilities.”
❏ “Access to quality specialty care.”
❏ “Cost sharing that is sensitive to the frequency of services that some children with disabilities may need.”
❏ “Program and access standards that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.”
Considering Children with Disabilities and the State Children's Health Insurance Program. (2015, June 13). Retrieved September 15, 2015.http://aspe.hhs.gov/basic-report/considering-children-disabilities-and-state-childrens-health-insurance-program
Background situation of the Topic
Disabled children started to be considered as an actual UN issue since the "Convention on the Rights of the Child," the first international treaty to explicitly recognize the rights of children with disabilities. In the United States, there is a [G4] disabled child in one out of every five houses. And this makes a huge part of the American population. Healthcare access for disabled children is currently from a 20% to a 30% more expensive than the health care for normal children. [G5]
Article 7 - Children with Disabilities
1. “States Parties shall take all necessary measures to ensure the full enjoyment by children with disabilities of all human rights and fundamental freedoms on an equal basis with other children.”
2. “In all actions concerning children with disabilities, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.”
3. “States Parties shall ensure that children with disabilities have the right to express their views freely on all matters affecting them, their views being given due weight by their age and maturity, on an equal basis with other children, and to be provided with disability and age-appropriate assistance to realize that right."
“UNICEF work has a renewed and intensified focus on equity, which seeks to identify and address the root causes of inequality so that all children – particularly those who face the worst deprivations in society – can realize their rights.”
The equity-based approaches one of the foundations of our disability agenda, the main goals of which are to mainstream disability across all of our policies and programs – both in the development and humanitarian action – and to develop leadership on the rights of children with disabilities, building capacity among staff and partners.” UNICEF states in their website: http://www.unicef.org/disabilities/
Current situation of the Topic
The Global Partnership for Education is a partnership that provides technical and financial support to governments that don’t have the resources to reach marginalized children or children with disabilities to have a good education, healthcare, and mainly a good quality of life.
In 2012, a plan named Global Partnership for Education (GPE) was invented with the purpose of supporting the most marginalized children and strengthen national systems that can give support and education to everyone. This with the purpose of ensuring that children have access to education to be able to learn for their future. This plan supports education and children with disabilities around the world, through:
❏ Inclusive education sector planning and appraisal: Promotes inclusive education policies as articulated the guidelines that highlight the need to consider disability in the process of education sector plan preparation, appraisal and implementation.
❏ Better quality data on children with disabilities: The Global Partnership has put in place a “Data Strategy for Improved Education Sector Planning and Implementation" to address data gaps. The Global Partnership will be able to support better data collection at country-level to take stock of the number of disabled children.
❏ Knowledge sharing: The Global and Regional Activities (GRA) Program engages partners to apply new knowledge and evidence-based good practice to resolve education challenges.
❏ Direct support to education for children with disabilities through GPE grants: 30 GPE grants have disability activities or components. They include studies to assess the situation for children with disabilities and the development of policies and strategies.
According to the Global Partnership for Education, poverty, malnutrition, poor health, illiteracy, and lack of access to proper sanitary conditions or clean water aggravate the consequences of children with disabilities.
According to the World Report on Disability, many times, people with disabilities have poorer health and higher rates of poverty than people without disabilities. This is mainly due to the lack of services available for them. In developing countries, children with disabilities, mainly under five years of age, are exposed to many instabilities such as poor health, malnutrition, poverty, and bad home environments. The environment people live in, have a huge effect on people mainly with disabilities. The environment can be affected by different factors such as natural disasters, a conflict against countries, and major environmental changes.
The health care access that children with disabilities obtain also depends on the disability itself. For example:
❏ A child born blind may not specifically require ongoing health care for a primary health condition.
❏ An adolescent with a traumatic spinal cord injury may have considerable health care needs during the acute phase of the primary condition.
❏ Adults with chronic conditions such as multiple sclerosis, cystic fibrosis, severe arthritis, or schizophrenia may have complex, and continuing health care needs to be related to their primary health condition or associated impairments.
Home | Global Partnership for Education. (n.d.). Retrieved September 29, 2015, from http://www.globalpartnership.org/
World report on disability. (n.d.). Retrieved September 29, 2015, from http://www.who.int/disabilities/world_report/2011/en/
International action on the Topic
There are around 93 million of children with disabilities around the world. Disabled children are treated with inequality and do not have equal access to healthcare. Rehabilitation centers are expensive and not as easy to get access to.
The children’s Center is a non-profit rehabilitation center that
China: In China, there is a group called Young Voices that meets up regularly in Beijing to raise awareness for the CRPD (The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities). Recently "Young Voices held two national seminars to increase the advocacy skills of young people with disabilities. This year the group will advocate increasing the number of students with disabilities attending colleges and universities."
France: France has three different regulations for schools:
- “SESSAD(services d'éducation spéciale et de soins à domicile)” that focuses on children with mental disabilities and helps parents and families get counseling and ensures early education for the child.
- “CLIS(classes d'intégration scolaire)” this one focuses on children that are too severe for regular classes but don’t require special facilities. It is usually found in any ordinary elementary school but very rarely in pre-schools.
These are the four categories of CLIS:
- “CLIS 1 (D): Cognitive learning disorders, severe mental development limitations.”
- “CLIS 2 (A): Hearing impairment.”
- “CLIS 3 (B): Visual impairment.”
- “CLIS 4 (C): Physical disability/severe motor deficiency.”
3. UPI the UPI is expanding to incorporate children with physical disabilities like sight or hearing.
Russia: Unfortunately, children with disabilities in Russia are mistreated, neglected and even abused. Nearly 30 percent of children with disabilities in Moscow live in state orphanages. In the orphanages they are not treated well, they are treated with neglect. Some children that were interviewed even said that “orphanage staff beat them, injected them with sedatives, and sent them to psychiatric hospitals for days or weeks at a time to control or punish them.” Many children that end up in orphanages are there because healthcare workers pursue the parents and tell them that maintaining them will only lead to complications.
United Kingdom: There are different healthcare systems in England dedicated to children with disabilities. Approximately 770,000 children in the United Kingdom and 570,000 of them are in England. There is also an estimate of 23,500 children and teenagers ages 0-19 with life-threatening conditions. The UK government knows that these children experience unequal access to health support because the treatments are truly expensive. There is the 24th article of the convention of the rights of the children that says:
- “1. States Parties recognize the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health and facilities for the treatment of illness and rehabilitation of health. States Parties shall strive to ensure that no child is deprived of his or her right of access to such health care services.
2. States Parties shall pursue full implementation of this right and, in particular, shall take appropriate measures:
(a) To diminish infant and child mortality;
(b) To ensure the provision of necessary medical assistance and health care to all children with emphasis on the development of primary health care;
(c) To combat disease and malnutrition, including within the framework of primary health care, through, among other things, the application of readily available technology and through the provision of adequate nutritious foods and clean drinking-water, taking into consideration the dangers and risks of environmental pollution;
(d) To ensure appropriate pre-natal and post-natal health care for mothers;
(e) To ensure that all segments of society, in particular, parents and children, are informed, have access to education and are supported in the use of basic knowledge of child health and nutrition, the advantages of breastfeeding, hygiene and environmental sanitation and the prevention of accidents;
(f) To develop preventive health care, guidance for parents and family planning education and services.
3. States Parties shall take all effective and appropriate measures to abolishing traditional practices prejudicial to the health of children.
4. States Parties undertake to promote and encourage international co-operation to achieving progressively the full realization of the right recognized in the present article. In this regard, particular account shall be taken of the needs of developing countries.”
Recommendations for creating a resolution
❏ Think of every aspect:
❏ scientific research
❏ Consider another point of view.
Questions to consider to create a resolution
❏ What kind of disabilities are the most common?
❏ Which is the average of disabled children around the world?
❏ How are disabled children treated and what can we do about it?
❏ Are there any new methods for the health care of disabled children?
❏ How can we stop discrimination for disabled children?
❏ How can we get disabled children to have a better healthcare access?
❏ How can science and technology be applied to improve healthcare access for disabled children?
❏ How have science and technology improved health care?
❏ Are there any treatable disabilities?
❏ Are there any rehabilitation centers in your country?
Terms and concepts (vocabulary)
Healthcare: the field or industry concerned with supplying services, equipment, and information related to maintaining and restoring physical and mental health.
Rehabilitate: return to a good health condition.
Equality: the state or quality of being equal.
Coverage: protection against a risk as listed in an insurance policy.
Intensified: to (cause to) become intense or more intense.
Deprivations: to keep (someone) from having or enjoying something; keep or prevent (someone) from having or using.
Mainstream: of or relating to a principal or widely accepted group, style, etc.
Marginalized: of or relating to a principal or widely accepted group, style, etc.
Assess: to evaluate the importance or character.
Appraisal: an act of estimating or determining the worth of something.
Inclusive: including the limit or extremes.
Instabilities: the quality or state of being unstable;
lack of stability.
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