Commonwealth Children and Youth Disability Network

Strengthen the voices of children and young people with disabilities throughout the Commonwealth, via increasing awareness of their Rights and supporting their Participation and Inclusion.

Objectives of the CCYDN

The Commonwealth Children and Youth Disability Network (CCYDN) has been driven and developed by Include Me TOO following from the lack of representation and participation of children and young people with disabilities from the Commonwealth.

The Commonwealth Children and Youth Disability Network (CCYDN) is a disabled youth led network (including those who work with, or have set up, DPOs or NGOs working with children and young people with disabilities) whose mission is to strengthen the voices of children and young people with disabilities throughout the Commonwealth, via increasing awareness of their Rights and supporting their Participation and Inclusion.

The aim is to increase access to platforms for youth with disabilities as changemakers, and to influence positive change on issues that matter to them.

CCYDN recognises that children and young people with disabilities have much to say and contribute as changemakers and influencers in policy and delivery and their inclusion, contributions, lived experiences have an important role to play.

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The Commonwealth Secretariat, through its Commonwealth Youth Programme (CYP) will continue to support the Commonwealth Children & Youth Disability Network as a practical response to the Heads of Government mandate to ‘address the stigma around disability in all its forms and manifestations, ensuring that no one is left behind’. By working with young people with disabilities who are promoting their right to included and to participate in decision making at all levels, we come closer to fulfilling the vision of a society where our young people lead the change they want to see in a fairer, more prosperous and inclusive society for all. The CYP will work with the all the relevant partners and agencies to give voice and space to children & young people with disabilities to lead their own agenda in the Commonwealth. #NowIsTheTime.

Layne Robinson, Head of Social Policy Development, Commonwealth Secretariat.

The Royal Commonwealth Society has a strong record of working in support of diversity and inclusion and the empowerment of young people in the Commonwealth. We are excited to be supporting the voice of Commonwealth young people with disabilities through the youth-led Commonwealth Children & Youth Disability Network, and to be working with Include Me TOO and the Commonwealth Secretariat.

Helen Jones MBE, Head of Programmes and Youth, RCS

We are looking forward to continuing the development and increasing support for the Commonwealth Children and Youth Disability Network (CCYDN) in partnership with the Royal Commonwealth Society and working alongside the Commonwealth Secretariat to achieve inclusion, rights and representation of children and young people disabilities increasing reach and engagement across the Commonwealth to ensure their voices are heard, improve access and inclusion so they may reach their full potential and have their contributions, achievements recognised and valued.

Parmi Dheensa (Include Me TOO Founder and Executive Director)