Delegate: Ms. Malin Johansson (24 years)
42. Ms. Johansson (Sweden), speaking as a youth delegate, said that she considered herself privileged. Although deaf from birth, she had been given great opportunities while growing up. She had been educated in sign language, and youth disability organizations had worked to ensure her a life free from discrimination. However, in general, young people with disabilities suffered from multiple forms of discrimination, particularly in the areas of education and employment. Education was a key factor for the creation of equal opportunities and it was crucial that appropriate access be provided.
43. Discrimination should be fought by raising awareness about different needs. Stereotypes formed obstacles and limited the possibilities of those who did not conform to the norm; transforming the norms to create a more inclusive society would benefit everyone. In addition to a youth perspective, Governments should adopt a disability perspective in the decision-making processes, in order to ensure participation for all.
44. In times of economic crisis, the most vulnerable groups were always the most severely affected. However, in such times, it was more important than ever to ensure that internationally agreed goals were fully achieved. Across the globe, young people had been giving vent to their frustration in the face of rising unemployment and lack of opportunities. It was time to grant them real political participation and influence, because political representation and full and equal participation were the cornerstones of a democratic and inclusive society.
UN Doc.: A/C.3/66/SR.3