BACKGROUND : Besides the right to freedom, human rights can be seen as a basic requirement
also for the maintenance of human dignity and the opportunity to thrive – particularly in the
case of children with disabilities. It is imperative to explore primary caregivers‟ awareness of
the human rights of their children with intellectual disabilities in view of the role they may
play in either facilitating or restricting these rights. This paper explores the awareness of 219
primary caregivers of the human rights of their children with intellectual disabilities.
METHOD : A descriptive survey design was used with a custom-designed questionnaire that
employed a deductive content analysis based on the articles of the United Nations
Convention on the Rights of a Child. Comparisons were drawn between the awareness of
primary caregivers from urban and those from rural areas.
RESULTS : The majority (85.5%) of participants agreed that their child with intellectual
disability had rights. Three broad kinds of rights were mentioned (in descending order):
provision rights, protection rights and participation rights. Participants from both urban and
rural areas mentioned education (a provision right) most frequently. However, participants
from urban areas were more aware of the different rights that existed than were their
counterparts from rural areas.
CONCLUSION : Primary caregivers in both rural and urban areas are aware of the rights of their
children with disabilities, although there are significant differences between them.