UNICEF’s comprehensive statistical analysis finds that nearly 240 million childr
16-year-old boy Risaki from the Samburu community in Kenya is a disabled child with a club foot. His father and mother hide him in a cowshed and say that he is a burden and will bring shame to the family. But he is optimistic and writes a story about his disability which was later chosen as an entry for a competition being held as part of Day of the African Child. Risaki’s story uncovers the plight of many children like him around the world who are deprived of basic rights from their families as well as society.
According to a new UNICEF report, children with disabilities are disadvantaged compared to children without disabilities on most measures of child well-being. UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore says that from access to education to being read to at home; children with disabilities are less likely to be included or heard on almost every measure. All too often, children with disabilities are simply being left behind.
The report includes internationally comparable data from 42 countries and covers more than 60 indicators of child well-being – from nutrition and health, to access to water and sanitation, protection from violence and exploitation, and education. These indicators are disaggregated by functional difficulty type and severity, child’s sex, economic status, and country. The report makes clear the barriers children with disabilities face to participating fully in their societies and how this often translates to negative health and social outcomes.
UNICEF ensures that not a single child should fight for their rights alone. UNICEF works with partners at global and local levels to help realize the rights of children with disabilities. All children, including those with disabilities, must have a say in the issues that affect their lives and be provided with the opportunity to realize their potential and claim their rights. The analysis seeks to increase the inclusion of 1 in 10 children and young people with disabilities worldwide by ensuring they are counted, consulted, and considered in decision-making.