Equal Treatment for People with Mental Retardation: Having and Raising Children

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The child typically demands compensation due to the harm caused him by his "wrongful birth" or "wrongful life. Judges in the case disagreed about whether to legitimate this cause based on the assumption that 'it would have been better had the newborn with extremely severe disabilities never come into the world,' whether this cause should be dealt with judicially, or in the context of legislation. Finally, the majority opinion held that Israeli law must recognize the cause of action due to 'wrongful birth' when it is in the best interests of the newborn, and that only in rare cases of newborns with extremely severe disabilities is there an option to assume that it would have been better had the newborn never come into the world.

This judgment is an example of the tension between two approaches in law: the blaming and the utilitarian ones. The High Court judges were debating whether to accept the blaming approach, as they did in the previous instance, which means that the moral worth of an action is determined by the intention of the decision maker in this case: Dr Zeitzov, the genetic counselor and that by not recognizing the 'wrongful birth' concept, as defined by the laws of damages, which means that abortion is preferable to life as disabled — or to accept the utilitarianisms approach, which is a form of consequentialism and means that the moral worth of an action is determined by its outcome—the ends justify the means.

According to this approach the absence of moral blame of the genetic counselor does not rule out the right of the disabled newborn to get compensation for his 'wrongful birth. Since then, many additional judgments have been inclined to recognize this cause in cases of very severe disabilities, and the concepts of 'wrongful birth' and 'wrongful life' have permeated the consciousness of the relevant public, lawyers, ethical figures and health professionals, making the arena of human rights in this matter even more stigma—ridden and complex.

The 'relevant public' includes babies with disabilities who are born in Israel every year and their families. The most common disabilities at birth are in the cardiac system, the blood vessels about 1, children and disabilities in the sexual organs and in urine systems about children National Council for the Child, In the percentage of terminations due to disability increased again, to According to the above report of the Ministry of Health , in the years half the abortions of the Jewish population were of fetuses diagnosed as having Down syndrome.

Probably there were also illegal abortions the number of which is unknown Shahak, In the opinion of Hashiloni-Dolev , there is an 'inflation' of disability based pregnancy terminations in Israel. It is a result of 'medical pressure' exerted on women through the huge variety of prenatal examinations offered by the Israeli hospitals: tests to discover severe diseases such as Tay-Sachs , diseases whose treatment is improving such as Cystic Fibrosis , and conditions that may not be defined as a disease at all cleft palate, infertility, alcoholism.

The medical system expressly encourages women to perform up to ten genetic screening tests, in addition to three 'systems scan' ultrasounds, a 'nuchal transparency' ultrasound and an amniocentesis which is not only performed, as expected, on women aged 35 and over. This biogenetic activity involves significant financial benefit to the hospitals 9 , as well as research fund raising and personal and institutional prestige, but first and foremost derives from personal and professional attitudes Hashiloni-Dolev, Hashiloni-Dolev believes that the health system today is sliding down a slippery ethical slope caused by genetic innovations in defining what a 'worthy life' is, and is thereby exceeding its ethical limits.

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The risk of being at a point of 'no return' is also connected to the fact that today the non-performance of tests for screening disabilities can be considered medical malpractice and constitute a cause for legal action due to 'wrongful birth' and 'wrongful life. The economic and social circumstances of poverty, the twilight world of statelessness and political conflicts, and the absence of effective support have been challenging the ability of families all over the world to take care of and protect their children who are considered the weakest and the most vulnerable members of the community Panter-Brick and Smith, Among them are children with disabilities, who are at the highest risk to be abused or abandoned by or replaced in their families.

Beyond the complexity of the family situation, studies over the past decade investigating children with disabilities placed in out-of-home care have shown that these children experience higher rates of health problems Schor and Erickson, , emotional and behavioral problems Pilowsky, , and learning and educational problems Sawyer and Dubowitz, than children in the general population Romney, Litrownik, Newton and Lau, Out of concern about families solving the challenges of raising a disabled child by removing the child from the home, the CRC and the CRPD declare the family as the basic framework and natural environment for the development of its members, and especially of its children.

They mandate the shared responsibility of parents to raise children, encourage their natural and safe development, and state that the best interests of the child should be the top priority of the parents.

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The CRPD obligates party States to ensure that children will not be separated from their parents against their will, unless the relevant authorities determine that such separation is necessary for the best interest of the child, such as in cases of abuse, neglect or destructive separation between the parents. In that case priority should be given to custody with other family members over arrangements with non-family members, and the child still has the right to continue a personal relationship and have direct contact with the parents, unless this may harm him.

Following this approach, the Israeli 'Legal Capacity and Guardianship Law — ' defines the parents as the natural guardians of their minor children, responsible to fulfill all their needs. Section of the 'Penal Law, — ', states that: 'The parent of a child under age fourteen or of a person unable to fulfill his daily needs in this section and the next — Protectees and any person required by law or agreement to fulfill the needs of a protectee under his care, who fails to provide food, clothing, sleeping arrangements and other vital everyday needs, to the extent required to assure his safety and health, shall be subject to three years imprisonment, unless proving that he took reasonable steps in the circumstances to procure the means necessary to fulfill said needs and is unable to fulfill them'.

The Penal Law, as amended by the 59th Amendment thereto, of 10 , also sets punishments for parents who abandon their children before age six, and by doing so, endanger the life or health of the child. The main goal of this part of the law is to prevent the abandonment of babies in hospitals, which is a part of a more general phenomenon of child abandonment at all ages. In Israel, about newborns are abandoned each year. Most of the abandoned children end up in institutions; the rest are adopted or live in foster families Ifrach, In order to limit this phenomenon the Social Work Regulations No.

The intervention has shown an increase in the number of families agreeing to take the disabled babies home Figalson and Weisberg, Part of the hesitation of parents to bring their disabled babies home derives from the psychological agony of losing the dream of having a healthy and perfect baby Weiss, , and part of it is relates to realistic fear of day to day challenges. In about a fifth of the families, both parents are unemployed and rely on income assurance payments in Hebrew: "Havtachat Hachnasa". The rate of children receiving a disabled child allowance from the National Insurance Institute is almost the only area in which there are no differences between the Arab and the Jewish sectors Dolev, Ben Rabbi, Almog and Bandur According to the Ornoy Public Committee , 4, more children should be eligible due to their daily needs.

This eligibility opens the possibility of additional financial support, reductions and exemptions given by various authorities in many areas of life such as: personal assistance, housing, education, private and public transportation, communication, taxes, etc. In addition to financial support, the need for rehabilitation services frequently arises.

The goal of these services is to facilitate and empower the day to day functional and social capacities of children with disabilities and their families. Chapter 26 of the CRPD defines the duty of party States to supply a variety of rehabilitation services and interdisciplinary plans to identify needs and abilities, and to cultivate competence to participate in all areas of life at the earliest possible age.

In Israel, social skills development programs for children with disabilities living in the community are mainly supplied by the special education system and by informal education systems in schools, community centers, youth movements, nongovernmental facilities, etc. Psychosocial rehabilitation and protective services are supplied by the Ministry of Welfare to those who cannot live at home or in the community with the exception of the 'Rehabilitative Day Care Centers Law, — ', according to which toddlers aged 3 and below with intellectual disabilities, severe developmental disabilities or autism are entitled to enjoy extended day care facilities that provide a variety of services, including para-medical intervention and preschool educational services.

Every year, about toddlers enjoy this arrangement. There is no real sense why these services are not provided also by the education system based on integrative formal and informal educational models. In recent years it has become clearer that despite all the preventative efforts described above, children with disabilities, as compared to children without disabilities, are still at higher risk to be abused 1.

The most frequently abused children are those with mental, developmental and emotional disabilities Nelson-Brian, ; Balderian, Some of these have been involved in litigation at the Court of Family Affairs established by the 'Family Affairs Court Law, — '. Article 16 of the CRPD deals with assuring freedom from abuse, exploitation and violence by all means, including prevention and education programs.

In Israel only recently has the government taken a significant step to improve the situation of children at risk. The strategic plan was budgeted at about two billion NIS; half will be financed by the State and half by the business sector. In the meantime, the first emergency center for at-risk children with disabilities and their families was established in September in Jerusalem. It includes an external unit that supplies preventive and supportive services in the community, and an emergency unit for victims of family abuse, which provides a transfer shelter with emotional and legal services.

The experience that will accrue shall serve to better integrate children with special needs in 10 other centers that are functioning all over the country for all children at risk. When the cases of persons with mental and intellectual disabilities who were victims of abuse get to the courts there, it is essential to assure the accessibility of the investigation procedures and testimony. The Ministry of Welfare is in charge of implementing this law.

This new law complements previous Israeli legislation aiming to ensure that maximum offenders will be found and punished, such as: the Legal Capacity and Guardianship Law, — and the amendment 13 to this law dated and the 'Penal Law Amendment 26 , Chapter F1: Harming Minors and Helpless Persons '. According to Amendment 26, any person or citizen, including professionals on the job, who discovers that an offense was performed against a minor by someone in responsible for him, is obligated to report it.

The 'Prevention of Family Violence Law, ' gives the court the authority to issue a protective order for a minor against an attacker who is a family member. In about 13 children were represented by the Public Defender located in the Ministry of Justice National Council for Children, No estimation of how many of them are children with disabilities was provided. In extreme cases, and pursuant to the 'Welfare Care of Retarded Persons Law, ', the 'Youth Care and Supervision Law, ', and the 'Welfare Legal Procedures Regarding Minors, Mentally Ill and Missing Persons Law, ', the State has the right to remove children from their families when they are under high risk of physical or emotional abuse or lack living conditions for proper development.

In , 1, children at risk were removed from their homes. No estimation of how many of them were children with disabilities was provided. During , of 1, youths ages 18 and below who were in the care of the Rehabilitation Department at the Ministry of Welfare were removed from their homes: 12 to foster families, 28 to post-hospitalization institutions.

Of 3, children with intellectual disabilities ages 18 and below in the care of the Retarded Persons' Unit at the Ministry of Welfare, were transferred to institutions and to foster families. Of children with autism who were in the care of the Autism Unit at the Ministry of Welfare, 71 were transferred to institutions and one to a foster family Feldman and Arianes, This is most evident in family-instigated involuntary psychiatric treatment and hospitalization.

Finally, the CRPD recognizes the importance of the family and its right to support, but only as a tool for promoting the rights of the member with disabilities, as set out in the Preamble, subsection x , as follows: "[States Parties] Convinced that the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the state, and that persons with disabilities and their family members should receive the necessary protection and assistance to enable families to contribute towards the full and equal enjoyment of the rights of persons with disabilities".

According to article 12 2 of the CRC: "[T]he child shall in particular be provided the opportunity to be heard in any judicial and administrative proceedings affecting the child, either directly, or through a representative or an appropriate body". This conflict occurs very often in cases of removing the child from home, involuntary treatment or hospitalization, etc.

The right to education is the foundation for acquiring knowledge and developing personal and social values.


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It is a major source for developing tolerance and participatory democratic values provided by the general education system only when it is de facto available and accessible to all. Article 24 of the CRPD outlines a vision in which 'States Parties recognize the right of persons with disabilities to education with the view to realizing this right without discrimination and on the basis of equal rights opportunities.

States Parties shall ensure an inclusive education at all levels and life long learning'. In order to achieve this vision the CRPD acknowledges the importance of supplying personal support, alternative modes, means and formats of learning, teaching and orientation as well as the importance of training teachers towards human rights based education and the ability to teach students of many kinds, including children with disabilities. Israel has acknowledged the importance of education for all since its independence in by enacting the 'Mandatory Schooling Law, ' which was one of the first laws enacted by the Israeli parliament.

The Law includes the prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sector, prohibits punishing students for actions or inaction by parents, and assures free schooling from the first day of kindergarten up until the last day of high school. In , the 'State Education Law, — ' was enacted. It defines the school week and the systems of state education regular and religious. In , the 'Control of Schools Law, ' was legislated. However, these laws were not sufficient in ensuring education for children with disabilities, who need special accommodations and assistance for their special needs.

Only twenty years later was the 'Special Education Law, — ' enacted to ensure education modified to accommodate students with disabilities aged between 3 to 21 years old. The goal of that amendment is to ensure the priority of inclusion over exclusion, assistance and accommodations required to integrate students with disabilities in mainstream educational institutions. Another important aspect of enabling students with severe disabilities to actualize their right to education is the provision of accommodated transportation to school and back. The Safe Transportation for Children and Toddlers with Disabilities Law, ' amendment from 14 and the 'Safe Transportation for Disabled Children and Toddlers Rules and Tests for Entitlement to Transportation and Escort Regulations, — ' obligate local authorities to supply this service.

Along with many other public services and facilities, it requires all new schools to be completely accessible and all existing schools to be made accessible in a limited fashion, until an individual student, parent or teacher with disabilities joins the school, upon which the requirements are upgraded, until the school is made fully accessible. According to a report made by the European agency for developing special needs education , European countries can be divided into those that have almost all students with disabilities integrated into regular education Spain, Italy, Portugal, Sweden, Iceland and Norway , those that have two completely separate educational systems—regular education and special education Switzerland and Belgium —and those that combine the two Denmark, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, Austria, Finland, Britain, Holland and Germany.

Israel belongs to the third group of countries. The special education students constitute 2. At the primary school level they constitute about 3. About 44, learn in separate systems: 5, children go to special kindergartens, 17, to special classes in regular schools, and 16, to special schools. About 30, children receive special education services in regular schools coordinated by regional support centers Ministry of Education, A regular student in Israel is budgeted at about 22 thousand NIS a year on the average.

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A student with a moderate disability that learns in a regular class receives an "integration basket" and services at a cost of 34 thousand shekels, compared to a cost of about 73 thousand shekels in the special education system. In Britain, the budget for children with a disability ranges from 4, to 29 thousand dollars a year.


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In Ontario, Canada, as in Holland, the budget follows the child. In Australia, where a school year consists of four semesters, the budget 'transfers with the child' even if he leaves school after only one semester Bels, As Peters has noted, comparing 12 major international policy documents, in Israel the reality is one of "conflicted discourses and fragmented, reinterpreted, and reworked policies towards rights of individuals with disabilities in relation to education for all" p.

This discourse focuses mainly on the question of what the best interests of the child really are, especially concerning children with severe intellectual and autistic disabilities and their non- disabled classmates McCarthy and Soodak, The same debate is taking place on the teachers' level.

Studies show that their willingness to integrate students with physical or sensorial disabilities far exceeds their willingness to integrate students with behavioral and intellectual challenges who, in their opinion, do not benefit from inclusive learning Budinyuk, In addition, the latter create a complex dilemma for schools, as they must balance their duty to provide a safe working and learning environment with their duty to provide a free and appropriate public education to students with disabilities Bon, Faircloth, LeTendre, Reiter raises the dilemma of a tradeoff between academic achievements and the social "price" paid for them, in a report of better academic and employment achievements in adulthood along with a high level of loneliness that characterizes many students with disabilities who were integrated into the regular educational system Bauminger, Shulman, Agam, ; Mirta and Wilber, ; Reiter and Lapidot-Lefler, A special challenge is the status of students with disabilities from the Arab sector.

The law mandates that all of them attend school However, according to Course-Neff and the Human Rights Watch , the schools of Israeli Arab children, in general, and with disabilities, in particular, are a world apart in quality from the public schools serving Israel's majority population. They are often overcrowded, employ less qualified teachers and therapists, are understaffed, poorly built, badly maintained, or are simply unavailable. These schools offer fewer facilities and educational opportunities than other Israeli children have. Arab children with disabilities are particularly marginalized.

Organizations of parents, such as; " Yated " for children with Down syndrome, " Alut " for children with autism, " Ofek Leyeladenu " for blind children, together with " Bizchut ", and lately with organizations of persons with disabilities, like " Mate Hamaavak ", have been very active in confronting the delay in implementation of the declared "equity policy" of the Ministry of Education and those who still believe in segregated education for the most severely disabled students. These organizations fight actively for full inclusive education for all through mutual support, negotiating with the Ministry to achieve more and more rights.

If this does not work, they use the media, the parliament "Knesset" , the Supreme Court 16 Feldman, , etc. The involvement of organizations from the Arab sector has been increasing. Most of them were established during the last five years Alon and Giron, As happens elsewhere Kluth, Biklen, English-Sand, Smukler, , currently the integration of students with severe disabilities within the regular educational system still occurs primarily on a one by one basis, initiated by parents according to their capability to contend with the educational authorities, convince school principals and educators to agree to integrate the child into their school and class, cope with the child's' social isolation, and finance unpaid for or not covered appropriate support services.

Thus the option of integrating students from low socioeconomic level families into the regular education system, as of now, is quite limited State Comptrollers' report, However, as happens elsewhere Nagle, Yunker, Malmgren, Kimber, , most of the Israeli teachers who already teach students with disabilities in regular classes seem willing to tackle challenges to the best of their abilities and recognize that students with disabilities are a vital part of the educational process. The current situation is likely to change dramatically when two new amendments are fully implemented: the "Inclusion Law" and the "Accessibility Law", which were imposed on the educational system by the parliament and the civil society.

They assure inclusive education as the preferred choice by ensuring personal assistance, fully accessible schools, and fully accessible learning accessories for students with disabilities also in regular classes. Article 25 of the CRPD proclaims the right of persons with disabilities to enjoy medical and paramedical treatment at the highest possible standard and without disability-based discrimination. It is the obligation of party States to ensure that the health system will be available, accessible and age-sensitive, and the obligation of professionals to give quality, ethical and human rights based services.

According to the law, an interdisciplinary team shall provide a diagnosis and medical treatment of somatic and psychosomatic impairments to all. Children with disabilities until the age of six are entitled to development-related early detection, diagnosis and treatment services to be supplied by an interdisciplinary team including a child neurologist, psychologist, physiotherapist, social worker, speech and occupational therapists.

However, despite a relatively structured "developmental basket", Strosberg, Sandler-Lef and Naon found that each of four Health Care Funds "Kupat Holim" that supply statutory health services has a different interpretation of the law. As a result, there is inequality in the scope of services, such as the number of treatments a child with a developmental disability will receive, etc. There are also groups, mostly in the geographical periphery, that are not covered either by the State Health Insurance Law or by the Special Education Law, under which additional paramedical services within special education kindergartens have to be supplied.

Children are also entitled to speech therapy and interdisciplinary treatment to improve learning disabilities, minimal brain dysfunction, dysfunctions of language and speech, communication, motor difficulties, etc. The Ministry of Health participates in financing the purchase of mobility, seeing and hearing aids, diagnosis of mobility disability, purchase of disabled-accessible vehicles, and provision of disabled parking permits. Another relevant aspect of human rights pertaining to health care is defined by article 15 of the CRPD, which refers to the obligation of party States to ensure the freedom of persons with disabilities from torture, cruelty in treatment or inhumane punishment.

Clear steps have to be taken to prevent scientific and medical experiments performed without informed consent and to prevent treatments that harm the individual and are of an inhuman nature. This issue has been discussed in depth since , the year the 'Declaration of Helsinki' was initiated and drafted by the World Medical Association with the aim of defining ethical guidelines for carrying out medical experiments on human beings.

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The Declaration of Helsinki acknowledges the crucial value of research in advancing the ability of medicine to cure people, but also notes the crucial importance of planning and performing research according to clear and restricting rules. The procedure must also include suitable insurance coverage of the participant. The issue was regulated in Israel solely by the 'Peoples' Health Medical Experiments On Human Beings Regulations, — ' and the additions and amendments thereto until , when the relevant 'Patients' Rights Law, — ' was enacted, and in the 'Procedure for Medical Experimentation on Human Beings — ' as well.

In accordance with the above Regulations, special 'Helsinki committees' were established in all medical and academic institutions in order to approve and supervise research in this regard. The question of receiving informed consent from children, including children with disabilities, in order to enable them to participate in a study, is even more complex.

On the one hand children are legally unable to give informed consent, but on the other hand more harm may be caused if there is no research that may help to treat the diseases afflicting them. The 'Declaration of Helsinki' clarifies that absent legal competence of the subject, informed consent can be received from her or his legal guardian.

According to the 'Legal Capacity and Guardianship Law, - ' it is customary to obtain the consent of the child as well, after explaining to him what the research is about Glick, Despite the above, hundreds of children are still subject to studies without their knowledge or the knowledge of their parents State Comptrollers' Report, According to the 'Patients' Rights Law, — ' the parents have the upper hand regarding health care decisions, and the 'material' relevant to the treatment becomes their property. This presents no problem when there is agreement between the parties.

But there are complicated family situations, including cases of mental or physical abuse, which may create an ethical dilemma unless inability of the parents or their harmfulness to a child is duly determined and it becomes obvious that the 'needy minor' must be protected from the interference or involvement of the parents in the treatment Goldberg, A minor can also ask to receive treatment without the knowledge of his parents, e. According to the 'Detecting the Aids Virus in Minors Law, — ' minors have the right to perform an AIDS test while keeping the test and its results confidential.

Vardi Jak , et al. His parents requested that he undergo chemotherapy, but the teen refused the treatment due to the extreme pain and suffering the treatment caused him. In order to evade the treatments, the teen ran away from home, and when finally located by the police, the court determined according to articles 2 2 and 2 6 of the 'Youth Law Care And Supervision — ' that chemotherapy would be imposed upon the minor in a psychiatric ward, which is the only place set up to provide involuntary treatments.

In his appeal to the Supreme Court, the minor applied to cancel the involuntary treatment. The court understood the main issue of the appeal not to be whether the will of the minor may overcome the will of his parents, but rather to convince the minor to give a chance to life by agreeing to undergo the treatment of first choice. Ultimately, the minor chose not to be treated, fled the country, and after a while passed away.

A more typical example of a conflict of interests between the person and his family is the matter of involuntary psychiatric treatment and hospitalization. According to the 'Treatment of Mentally Ill Persons Law, ', a minor aged 15 and above cannot be psychiatrically hospitalized against his will, unless the hospitalization is approved by a court of law.

The Law, as amended 17 by the Youth Care and Supervision Law Amendment 11 , — , allows the court to grant the wish of a minor age 15 or above to be hospitalized in a psychiatric institution, even if his parents object to it. In , 1, children and teens were admitted in Israel into psychiatric hospitalization of them were of ages 11 and below — boys and girls. Most of these minors were hospitalized at the request of the parents based on the claim of the 'best interest' of their child Hattab, Lately, more and more human rights lawyers are involved in preventing unjustified involuntary psychiatric hospitalization and in demanding not to take the medical decisions for granted Shnit Committee report, Under public and judicial pressure, the Israeli Parliament approved the 5th Amendment 18 to the Treatment of Mentally Ill Persons Law, in , giving the involuntarily hospitalized the option of legal representation by an attorney appointed by the Public Defender concerning hospitalization ordered by the court and by the Legal Aid concerning a hospitalization order issued by the district psychiatrist , free of charge.

This legal arrangement, which has been gradually implemented, still does not apply to the pre-hospitalization stage, when the decision to give involuntary treatment is made, nor does it apply to children. These services are expected to be supplied only in the coming years. The right to accessibility is perhaps the most revolutionary part of the vital human rights reform concerning persons with disabilities in Israel.

It clarifies the fact that there is no chance for enjoyment of an equal, dignified, independent, safe and inclusive life for persons with disabilities without assuring physical, sensory, psychological and technological accessibility of places, services, products, programs, activities, etc. The State Comptroller's report, ; Feldman, In Israel, more than forty years of not implementing partial accessibility laws have clearly proved the critical need for full awareness and commitment by policy makers, planning professionals, technologists, economists and service suppliers of all kinds to link accessibility, inclusion and human rights of persons with disabilities Feldman, Danieli-Lahav, Malul, and Silovsky, Despite the huge educational, medical, psychosocial, financial and legal investments, the absence of accessibility has left the majority of persons with disabilities invisible and behind others in most of areas of life Feldman and Ben Moshe, The Law requires assuring accessibility of new and existing public buildings, open spaces, infrastructure, products, and services provided to the public at large by the governmental, public or private sectors.

It fully adopts the obligations defined two years later by Article 9 of the CRPD while adding other, much broader, obligations. These include more types of disabilities physical, sensory, mental, intellectual, cognitive, developmental , application of the requirements to existing infrastructure and the private sector, a nd professionalization—that is, formal training and certification of accessibility professionals, approval by professionals required both to prove the meeting of accessibility standards and in order to be eligible for exemptions, and the requirement from suppliers of services to the public employing over 25 workers to appoint an "accessibility coordinator".

In addition, the Equal Rights Commission was authorized to file criminal indictments as well as civil suits, and to issue administrative orders pertaining to accessibility. Since the process of implementation in Israel includes existing buildings, it shall be carried out over the course of 12 years, beginning with the approval of detailed secondary legislation. These regulations are being drafted by various governmental ministries, a process involving full participation of the civil society, planning professionals and the private sector, with the goal being to change the makeup of the Israeli environment and free market so as to become barrier free and fully inclusive.

The current article shows that Israel has invested much in legislation, budget and services for ensuring the social rights of children with disabilities in all areas of life.

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However, Israel still faces the challenges of carrying out the paradigm shift towards the human rights model in practice, and ensuring equal opportunities by abolishing the poverty of and discrimination against the geographical and social periphery, as well as ensuring inclusive education and accessible public areas and services to all.

The commitment of the State to the international conventions and the external international monitoring process, a relevant legislation and an active court, an Israeli Equal Rights Commission and an active civil society increases the probability that the human right paradigm shift will be graduated in the future. However this process is not isolated from other perspectives of the Israeli life: the strength of the Israeli democracy, the national security status, the connection between religion and State, the commitment to welfare state conception in general, etc.

All of this definitely will have an impact on the pace of implementation. Only with the backing of the academy and the education system in establishing and teaching the language of human rights to current and future generations of leaders and educators, advocating, and protesting when needed will the paradigm shift in Israeli society be accomplished.

About 80 percent are Muslim, including the Bedouin and a small number of Circassians; about one-tenth are Christian, and slightly fewer are Druze. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics , The hospitals are paid either by the Sick Funds or by the clients. Who is paying depends on what kind of a test has been done, how much at risk the parents are and what kind of insurance obligatory and complementary they have.

The special expenses of parents on genetic and prenatal testing might move from several hundreds to several thousands IS per pregnancy, depends how "safe" they would like to be. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics only Ministry of Education, et al Ministry of Finance, et al. Volume 1 through Volume 20, no. Beginning with Volume 36, Issue No. Open Journal Systems. Current Issue. Abstract The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, from , and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, from , define a vision in which party States ensure the welfare of children with disabilities and their right to enjoy a full and respected life in the community, with their families, in conditions which meet their basic needs and ensure their ability to actualize their potential, enjoy basic liberty, freedom of expression, active and inclusive participation in the community life, based on equal opportunities.

Article 23 of the CRC defines the vision that relates specifically to children with disabilities as follows: States Parties recognize that a mentally or physically disabled child should enjoy a full and decent life, in conditions that ensure dignity, promote self-reliance, and facilitate the child's active participation in the community.

States Parties recognize the right of the disabled child to special care and shall encourage and ensure the extension, subject to available resources, to the eligible child and those responsible for his or her care, of assistance for which application is made and which is appropriate to the child's condition and to the circumstances of the parents or others caring for the child.

In this regard, particular account shall be taken of the needs of developing countries. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities hereafter, CRPD includes special reference to children with disabilities, both in articles where it is relevant and separately in Article 7, which outlines the following vision: States Parties shall take all necessary measures to ensure the full enjoyment by children with disabilities of all human rights and fundamental freedoms on an equal basis with other children.

In all actions concerning children with disabilities, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration. States Parties shall ensure that children with disabilities have the right to express their views freely on all matters affecting them, their views being given due weight in accordance with their age and maturity, on an equal basis with other children, and to be provided with disability and age-appropriate assistance to realize that right.

The parts of CRPD that deal exclusively with children or demand age-based sensitivity outline a general obligation of party States to shape policy and legislation designed to protect children and their best interests, to prohibit age-based discrimination, to supply prevention and early detection services, to enable the children to shape their own identity and capacities, and to participate actively in social, cultural, recreation, leisure and sports activities.

The CRPD obligates party States to take active steps to prevent abuse and violence, such as supplying training programs, health and social care and protective services; the CRPD also refers to the right of the child to a safe family life and the right of the child and his family to assistance.

The CRPD refers to the obligation to fight against prejudices and stigma in the school setting, and the need to train all teachers to cope with and teach students with disabilities according to their needs and capacities. Background More than 7 million citizens inhabit Israel today; 2. The Right to Life The past 20 years have seen rapid advances in the detection of genetic disorders and impairments in human fetuses Roberts, Stough and Parrish, The Right to Live with the Family in the Community The economic and social circumstances of poverty, the twilight world of statelessness and political conflicts, and the absence of effective support have been challenging the ability of families all over the world to take care of and protect their children who are considered the weakest and the most vulnerable members of the community Panter-Brick and Smith, The main goal of this part of the law is to prevent the abandonment of babies in hospitals, which is a part of a more general phenomenon of child abandonment at all ages In Israel, about newborns are abandoned each year.

The Right to Education The right to education is the foundation for acquiring knowledge and developing personal and social values. The Right to Health Article 25 of the CRPD proclaims the right of persons with disabilities to enjoy medical and paramedical treatment at the highest possible standard and without disability-based discrimination. The Right to Accessibility The right to accessibility is perhaps the most revolutionary part of the vital human rights reform concerning persons with disabilities in Israel.

Conclusion The current article shows that Israel has invested much in legislation, budget and services for ensuring the social rights of children with disabilities in all areas of life. Works Cited Admon, Z. Feldman, Y. Danieli Lahav, S. Haimovitz eds. Lapam Publication, Tel Aviv. Arambala, D. In: T.


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    Lancet, , Course-Neff, Z. Discrimination against Palestinian Arab children in the Israeli education system. International Law and Politics. Ben Rabbi, D. Almog S. Report, Jerusalem: Joint - Brookdale Institute. Dorn, M. Disability Studies Quarterly , 21 4 : Engelbrecht, P. Parents' experiences of their rights in the implementation of inclusive education in South Africa. School Psychology International , 26, Feldman, D. Persons with Disabilities in Israel: Government Activity. Jerusalem: The Ministry of Justice. Persons with Disabilities in Israel. It argues persuasively that persons with retardation should have legal authority to make their own decisions.

    Despite the progress of the normalization movement, which has moved so many people with mental retardation into the mainstream since the s, negative myths about reproduction and child rearing among this population persist. The authors trace these prejudices to the eugenics movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

    They show how misperceptions have led to inconsistent and discriminatory outcomes when third parties seek to make birth control or parenting decisions for people with mental retardation. And they explore the effect of these decisions on those they purport to protect. Have doubts regarding this product?

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