Disabilities at UNICEF

© UNICEF/ 2012 / Denisse Toren

UNICEF advocates for the protection of all children’s rights, to help meet their basic needs and expand opportunities for them to reach their potential.

Our work on disability is guided by a human rights-based approach, the social model of disability (also commonly referred to as the human rights model of disability), with a focus on equity and reaching the most marginalized.

According to the World Report on Disability, 1 billion people have a disability with at least 1 in 10 being children and 80% living in developing countries. In accordance with the social model outlined in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), children with disabilities have long-term physical, mental, intellectual, or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others (CRPD, Article 1).

While the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) applies to all children, the CRPD further strengthens the rights of children with disabilities. It does not introduce additional rights, but it imposes additional obligations on Governments to take action to remove the barriers keeping children with disabilities from realizing their rights.

Video Preview of the forthcoming UNICEF Orientation on Disability

This short video is a preview of the UNICEF orientation on disability, which will soon become part of UNICEF's human resource orientation and training package.

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