Monday, 18 January 2021

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UN calls for recognition of rights of persons with autism

World Autism Day, 2 April | UN stamps that have been issued to increase awareness about autism and feature artwork by people with autism | © UN Photo/Mark Garten

2 April 2017. UN Secretary-General António Guterres calls for changes in attitudes toward persons with autism and recognition of their rights as citizens.

In a message on World Autism Awareness Day 2 April 2017, Mr. Guterres says that persons with autism are entitled to claim their rights and to make decisions for their lives in accordance with their own will and preferences.

Autism is a lifelong neurological condition that manifests during early childhood, irrespective of gender, race or socio-economic status. Autism is mainly characterized by its unique social interactions, non-standard ways of learning, keen interests in specific subjects, inclination to routines, challenges in typical communications and particular ways of processing sensory information.    

Appropriate support, accommodation and acceptance of this neurological variation allow those on the Spectrum to enjoy equal opportunity, and full and effective participation in society.

“When they enjoy equal opportunity for self-determination and autonomy, persons with autism will be empowered to make an even stronger positive impact on our shared future,” the UN Secretary-General says in his message.

About 1 in 68 children has been identified with autism  spectrum disorder .

The number of people with autism has risen in the past decades but the increase can partly be explained by increased awareness, changes in diagnostic criteria and diagnosis at an earlier age.

It is however also possible that environmental factors have contributed to the increased prevalence of autism, though this requires further research.

In 2008, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities entered into force, reaffirming the fundamental principle of universal human rights for all. Its purpose is to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity.

“Let us also renew our promise, engraved in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, to leave no one behind and ensure that all people can contribute as active members to peaceful and prosperous societies,” says UN Secretary-General António Guterres in his message.

Photo Capiton UN stamps that have been issued to increase awareness about autism and feature   artwork by people with autism. UN Photo/Mark Garten



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