Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson speaking after signing the Declaration to raise awareness of bullying of people with Autism at the EU Parliament called for a concerted campaign by everyone in public life to eradicate this despicable practice.
Martina Anderson said:
“According to the World Health Organisation autism is a pervasive developmental disorder which affects around 1 in 150 children and studies have found that people with autism are more likely to be bullied than other children.
“It is therefore imperative that awareness-raising campaigns such as this ‘Stop Autism Bullying’ Declaration launched at the EU Parliament is adopted by all Member State governments and implemented in a pro-active manner.
“We are all aware of the increase in cyber-bullying, including trolling and stalking, and physical bullying of young people, including those with autism. This unacceptable practice has unfortunately in a number of cases had tragic results with several young people taking their own lives.
“I wholeheartedly endorse this Declaration and urge anyone who is aware of someone suffering this abuse to offer them support and speak out against it – including reporting it to the relevant authorities.”