Birgitte Lange, Save the Children, Norway
During the previous summit in 2018, our work for children with disabilities was already well rooted in our strategy. But on a general level the GDS was ofgreat political importance.
One reason why there is still a lot lacking regarding disability, inclusion and development a lot has to do with too little knowledge. Creating an understanding of the rights of the disabled is something we must do every day at all levels, both externally and internally, and in all situations. For example, we have developed thematic advice and tips for colleagues on how to make the covid response inclusive for children with disabilities.
It is also about stigma and a lack of quantitative and qualitative data. One thing we do is train country offices and partners in how to use the Washington Group’s questions to get a better grip on data.
Regarding the next summit, we will call for a special focus on humanitarian aid. We experience that disabled as a target group are weaker in the humanitarian field, both among donors and organizations. It may therefore be appropriate to invite humanitarian organizations in the run-up to the summit.
We also hope that the summit will help to create an understanding of how basic the right to education is, also for children and young people with disabilities.
Finally: three points that can contribute:
– Local and preparatory meetings must focus on the purpose and follow-up of the summit.
– A final document must reflect follow-up points also from the preparatory local meetings, and also suggest a system for follow-up.
– Persons with disabilities and their organizations must guide planning, implementation and follow-up of the summit.