The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs launched a flagship report entitled “The State of the World’s Children 2013: Children with Disabilities” in the central city of Da Nang on May 30.

Addressing the event, Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan stressed that Vietnam always pays special attention to underprivileged children, especially those with disabilities.

She said Vietnam has over 1.2 million disabled children, including those affected by the aftermaths of war, especially toxic chemicals, bombs, mines, and explosive remnants. It poses a great challenge to Vietnam in ensuring their rights and helping them integrate into society.

As the world’s second nation to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Vietnam always upholds the basic principles of the Convention, especially those on anti-discrimination that enable children with disabilities fully enjoy their rights.

The Vice President said UNICEF had worked with Vietnam even before the country officially joined the UN and continues to help the country at present by offering assistance in devising laws, institutions, and suitable policies for children, especially those with disabilities.

As UNICEF’s most important annual publication, this year’s report highlights the fact that children with disabilities are not incorporated into policies and data, isolating them from society and social services.

It points out three urgent moves to help them enjoy their rights, including a better integrated society, which is mentioned in the Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

Secondly, discrimination against disabled children must be ended and families and the community should be encouraged to care for the children instead of sending them to care centres.

Last but not least, more accurate and objective data on children with disabilities to help decide how to distribute resources, break barriers, design and supply services while reviewing measures to ensure that disabled children enjoy the same benefits as their peers.

On the occasion, Vietnamese “glass-bone” girl Nguyen Phuong Anh, a finalist in the 2012 Vietnam’s Got Talent, shared her thoughts and strong will to overcome hardships in life.

Earlier, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake and Director General of the Australian Agency for International Development Peter Baxter visited the Da Nang Centre for Supporting Agent Orange/Dioxin Victims and Nguyen Dinh Chieu Specialised School.-VNA