‘Why do paedohiles have more rights than our kids?’ was the question raised in an Australian case where a man who allegedly abused children under the age of 14 had the charges against him dropped because of the difficulty of obtaining evidence from the children in question.
Children with disabilities are at greater risk from abuse for various reasons: they have less contact with the outside world; some cannot speak or understand what is happening to them; and a myriad of people may have intimate contact with them when it comes to personal care. There are many more reasons than this but all have one purpose – to demonstrate how vulnerable children with disabilities are and how much more the bar ought to be raised when it comes to protecting them.
The wellbeing of any and all children ought to be of the highest standard which incorporates the elements of state concern and assistance, a society that accepts everyone as equals and a unified system of working among multi agencies that deal with children’s issues. Many parents of children with disabilities find it extremely hard to understand the system and how to engage with the multiple layers of care on offer.
According to a Unicef report in 2005, children with physical, sensory, intellectual or mental health disability are among the most stigmatized and marginalized of all the world’s children. This says it all doesn’t it?