As the world this week marked the international day for persons living with disabilities, the United Democratic Movement (UDM) is extremely worried about the continued abuse of children living with disabilities in special schools across the country.
The recent revelations, of sexual abuse of children living with disabilities, made by SABC 1 current affairs programme, Cutting Edge, send chills down the spine. The programme showed that child abuse should in fact be a matter of national concern; in particular where it concerns children living with disabilities.
It is sickening that those in positions of trust are the main culprits in sexually abusing these most vulnerable children. Teachers are the very people who are supposed to protect them. Teachers who rape and abuse children living with disabilities are no longer educators, but are monsters who prey on innocent lives.
It is clear that the system is failing our children and we cannot fold arms whilst they are suffering. What are the concerned government departments doing about this egregious abuse of children’s rights? One solution to this disturbing problem is that special schools should be regularly inspected to ensure that our children are safe, healthy and flourishing.
We regrettably live in a society where persons living with disabilities are treated as if they are something less than human and the stigma attached to persons living with disabilities crushes their lives. Efforts to educate the nation about people living with disabilities should be intensified.
Mr Bongani Msomi
UDM Secretary General