International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Today, 3rd December marks the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, which is observed every year since 1992. The day is commemorated to raise awareness, understanding and acceptance of persons with disabilities, and promote a society that is inclusive and accessible to all.

The Child Advocacy Network of Disability Organizations (CAN DO) has planned several activities and events, following this year’s theme: “Inclusion matters: access to empowerment for persons with disabilities”. This includes the publication of a Dhivehi language child-friendly version of the United Nations Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which is being developed by Care Society in association with ARC. CAN DO will also be launching a special website which provides easy access to information on different types of disabilities, as well as services available in the Maldives, for children with disabilities.

Children with disabilities remain one of the most vulnerable and marginalized groups in the country, and CAN DO aims to work closely with all stakeholders, to raise awareness on issues and challenges faced by children with disabilities, and remove existing stereotypes and hindrances that prevent the integration of persons with disabilities into Maldivian society.

Child Advocacy Network of Disability Organizations (CAN DO) is a network established by ARC in March 2014, to support children with disabilities. Members of CAN DO include Advocating the Rights of Children (ARC), Association for Disability and Development (ADD), Beautiful Eyes Down Syndrome Association of Maldives, Blind and Visually Impaired Association of Maldives, Care Society, Maldives Autism Association, Maldives Deaf Association (MDA) and Maldives Association of Physical Disables (MAPD).