In Kazakhstan, protection of the rights of children with disabilities is ensured by a number of enactments. In 2015, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was ratified, and in 2017 the first report on the observance of the rights of persons with disabilities was submitted to the UN Committee. However, in everyday life, children with disabilities still experience difficulties in gaining access to education and participation in public life.
Only 3% of children in Kazakhstan are registered as those with disabilities and special needs. This rate is significantly inferior to other countries of the world where it is 10-15% of children. This difference is primarily due to the difference in the approach to identify children with disabilities across countries - the approach of Kazakhstan still considers the health-related aspect of disability.
In addition, a significant number of children with hidden, unregistered disabilities and special needs remain unrecorded due to still existing social barriers, such as discrimination against disabilities and accompanying barriers to accessing services, social life and sports. As a result, parents of children with disabilities often are reluctant to report disability, as the family may face social stigma and isolation.
Currently children with disabilities are considered as vulnerable segments of the population, but not as potentially active and valuable members of society. Discrimination and negative attitude towards disability remain in all spheres of life: words and expressions used to describe disability speak about existing stereotypes that interfere with inclusion