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Children with disabilities are one of the most marginalized and excluded groups in society. Facing daily discrimination in the form of negative attitudes, lack of adequate policies and legislation, they are effectively barred from realizing their rights to healthcare, education, and even survival.

Estimates suggest that there are at least 93 million children with disabilities in the world, but numbers could be much higher. They are often likely to be among the poorest members of the population. They are less likely to attend school, access medical services, or have their voices heard in society. Their disabilities also place them at a higher risk of physical abuse, and often exclude them from receiving proper nutrition or humanitarian assistance in emergencies.

UNICEF vision is to build a world where every child can grow up healthy, protected from harm and educated, so they can reach their full potential. Every day we're working to make this vision a reality. No matter who they are or where they are born, we reach out to the most vulnerable children wherever and whenever they need us”.

Watch video about Children with disabilities under attack


Watch video about Eaz, 18 years old, Syrian refugee with disability


Watch video about Amir, 16 years old, talented boy from Nepal



Protecting the rights of children with disabilities is not a new theme for UNICEF. It has been an integral part of our programming since the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) – the first international treaty to explicitly recognize the rights of children with disabilities. With the passing of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), our disability work has gained momentum.

UNICEF work has a renewed and intensified focus on equity, which seeks to identify and address the root causes of inequality so that all children – particularly those who face the worst deprivations in society – can realize their rights.

The equity-based approach is one of the foundations of our disability agenda, the main goals of which are to mainstream disability across all of our policies and programmes – both in development and humanitarian action – and to develop leadership on the rights of children with disabilities, building capacity among staff and partners.



New resource

cover of disabilities and armed conflict report
Children with Disabilities in Situations of Armed Conflict:
A Discussion Paper - 2018
PDF version
Easy to read version
ePub version 

Accessible HTML

Disability Orientation


Take Us Seriously:
Easy To Read PDF
- zip file
DAISY - zip file

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