First lady Hayrunnisa Gul promotes disabled children's rights at pace session
Hayrunnisa Gul yesterday promoted the rights of children with disabilities in Strasbourg in an address to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), becoming the first Turkish first lady to address the body. Gul, the leader of Turkey's Education Enables initiative, began her speech by saying that a great deal remains to be done for children's human rights worldwide. "Disabled children no longer live in isolation, as if on distant islands, but we all know that in some countries they are still confined to the four walls of their homes, which is why we're sometimes not even aware of them," she said. We must remember that children are not disabled by choice, she said, adding, "But they must live with their disabilities." She continued, "We can make a better society by protecting children with disabilities, and not leaving their parents to cope with them alone. We must provide them with opportunities for education when they are young, and so allow them to be productive members of society."