One in ten children in the world have disabilities and experience deprivation in indicators such as health, education and protection, according to a new report by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
The report mentions that disability experience varies greatly. The risks and outcomes mainly depend on the type of disability; where the child lives and what services they can access, The UNICEF said.
UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore pointed out that children with disabilities are too often simply being left behind. Noting that exclusion is often the consequence of invisibility, she said that reliable data on the number of children with disabilities was lacking for a long time. “When we fail to count, consider and consult with these children, we are failing to help them reach their vast potential,” she said.
- 34 per cent more likely to be stunted
- 25 per cent more likely to be wasted
- 53 per cent more likely to have symptoms of acute respiratory infection
- 24 per cent less likely to receive early stimulation and responsive care
- 25 per cent less likely to attend early childhood education
- 16 per cent less likely to read or be read to at home
- 42 per cent less likely to have foundational reading and numeracy skills
- 49 per cent more likely to have never attended school
- 47 per cent more likely to be out of primary school
- 33 per cent more likely to be out of lower-secondary school
- 27 per cent more likely to be out of upper-secondary school
- 32 per cent more likely to experience severe corporal punishment
- 41 per cent more likely to feel discriminated against
- 51 per cent more likely to feel unhappy
- 20 per cent less likely to have expectations of a better life
In the report, UNICEF has calling on governments to provide children with disabilities with equal opportunities. It said that the Government’s should also consult persons with disabilities and consider the full range of disabilities, as well as the specific needs of children and their families, when providing inclusive services and equitable quality education.