Two side events related to the rights of persons with disabilities were co-chaired by H.E. Ms. Päivi Kairamo, Permanent Representative of Finland. A panel discussion on the equal access to education for children with disabilities was held on 1 March, and another one on the inclusion of the rights of the persons with disabilities on the post-2015 agenda on 8 March 2013.
The first event, initiated by UNICEF, addressed the challenges that disabled children face in terms of an equal access to educational system in different countries. The speakers gave examples how officials are tackling these challenges in the example countries, Serbia, Macedonia and Montenegro. The issues reflected the legal, cultural and economic perspectives with the consideration of the social norms and attitudes on the national level. It was concluded that equal access to education for the children with disabilities contributes to their meaningful employment and respect of their human dignity as well as to prevention of their exclusion and the relatively higher risk of poverty they face.
In the second discussion, the speakers identified achievements, good practices and challenges as well as means of enhancing cooperation in the field of implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and explored ways to enhance inclusion of the rights of persons with disabilities in the post-2015 development agenda.