Podgorica, 22 January 2014
According to the last survey on the knowledge, attitudes and practices of Montenegrin citizens towards inclusion of children with disabilities conducted within the It’s about ability campaign in December 2013, Montenegro is consistently progressing on the road of becoming an inclusive society.
“I would like to congratulate all our partners on the success that we have achieved so far and to invite them to support further efforts in building an inclusive society in Montenegro,” UNICEF Montenegro Representative Benjamin Perks says.
As a result of the joint efforts of the It’s about ability coalition for inclusion led by the Government of Montenegro and UNICEF, the percentage of Montenegrin citizens who find it unacceptable that a child with disability goes to the same class with their child decreased from 64 per cent in August 2010 to 20 per cent in December 2013. This means that 80 per cent of people now support inclusive education in Montenegro.
Further, every second citizen now accepts that his/her child is best friends with a peer with disability, as the percentage of citizens who find it unacceptable that a child with disability is the best friend of their child decreased from 77 per cent in August 2010 to 49 per cent in December 2013.
Finally, Montenegrin citizens have become much more aware of the basic human right and need of every child, including those who have disabilities, to grow up in a family. The percentage of people who think that children with disabilities who are without parental care are better off in a foster family than in an institution increased from 51 per cent in August 2010 to 73 per cent in December 2013.
“While we can celebrate the fact that much more citizens are becoming supportive of inclusion, we need to continue working hard to make every Montenegrin school an inclusive one, to provide day care centres for children with disabilities in every municipality, to establish an effective social work support to families with children with disability and to strengthen the early detection and assessment of disability for children in the earliest stages of childhood,” says Perks and emphasizes that “everyone can contribute to this process through directly supporting inclusive services in the local community.”
The It’s about ability campaign started immediately after a nationally representative survey was conducted in August 2010, which demonstrated the need to raise awareness about the rights of children with disabilities and promote their anti-discrimination in Montenegro. In December of each year since, the same nationally representative survey was conducted in order to compare the results and evaluate the progress of the campaign on changing the discriminatory attitudes and practices towards children with disabilities.
Since September 2010, the campaign consistently promoted inclusion through many different activities that were organized all over the country demonstrating consistently abilities and potential of Montenegro’s children with disability. To harness both public and political support, under the slogan It’s about ability. Join us more than 100 partners joined the campaign’s coalition for inclusion from the international community, media, government, civil and private sector. They actively contributed to the campaign’s success.