Disability is a major social and economic phenomenon in Bangladesh. However, there is lack of reliable and comprehensive data available on persons with disabilities. Different data sources show different pictures on disability in Bangladesh. According to Household Income and Expenditure Survey 2010, disability prevalence in total population is 9.1 per cent, while 2011 National Census found only 1.7 per cent prevalence.
In Bangladesh, there is a growing realization that the main constraint faced by children with disabilities is not the child’s impairment, but widespread prejudice and discrimination.
Discrimination in the family, the community and the workplace is at the core of most violations of the rights of children with disabilities in Bangladesh. The belief that disability is a curse and a punishment for sinful behaviour permeates all levels of society and affects access to adequate care, health, nutrition, education and participation.
Children with disabilities are least likely to receive healthcare or go to school. They are among the most vulnerable to violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect, particularly if they are hidden or put in institutions. Gender is also a key factor, as girls with disabilities are less likely than boys to receive food and care.