Launch of Key Findings of Viet Nam’s first large-scale National Survey on People with Disabilities (2016)
Ha Noi (Viet Nam), 11 January 2019 – The key findings from Viet Nam’s National Survey on People with Disabilities was launched today in Ha Noi by the General Statistics Office (GSO) and UNICEF. Conducted by GSO in 2016 and 2017 with UNICEF’s technical assistance, this survey marked the first time that Viet Nam undertook a large-scale survey using tools based on international standards on disability measurement.
“The purpose of the survey was to assess the disability status of the population, and to evaluate their socioeconomic conditions to inform evidence-based planning and policies for improving the lives of adults and children with disabilities in Viet Nam”, said Mr. Vu Thanh Liem, Deputy Director of GSO.
Disability affects a significant portion of the Viet Nam’s population. The survey found that over 7 per cent of the population aged 2 years and older, – around 6.2 million, have a disability but an additional 13 per cent - nearly 12 million, live in a household with a person with a disability. These percentages are expected to rise with the aging of the population.
Findings from the survey show that households having members with disabilities tend to be poorer than the national average, and children with disabilities attend school less and adults with disabilities are less employed than their peers without disabilities. While they are well covered by health insurance, and poverty does not appear to be a barrier to accessing health clinics, few persons with disabilities (2.3 per cent) use rehabilitation services when sick or injured. Gaps also exist in living standards and the social participation of people with disabilities.
The survey highlighted that the most common type of impairment for children is psycho-social related. This is connected to the different development stages of childhood and adolescence, and such impairments can act as a significant barrier to children’s social inclusion.
“More needs to be done to make early identification, intervention and community-based rehabilitation services widely available and accessible, and to improve the provision of social services to children with disabilities, so that they can reach their full potential and fully participate in their communities and in wider society.” said Lesley Miller, Acting UNICEF Representative.
The survey also indicated that children with disabilities have less access to education than their peers without disabilities. The gap is wider at higher levels of education. Less than one third of children with disabilities go to upper secondary schools, compared to nearly two thirds of children without disabilities. Although there have been some positive results in mainstreaming children with disabilities with the other children, only 2 per cent of primary schools and lower secondary schools have facilities that meet the needs of children with disabilities and only 1 in 7 teachers received training on disabilities.
“The Australian Government is proud to be partnering with UNICEF and the GSO to improve the lives of children with disabilities”, said H.E. Mr. Craig Chittick, Australian Ambassador to Viet Nam. “The results of this survey provide a high-quality baseline for measuring progress in realizing the rights of persons with disabilities and ensuring better access to services and education.”
The Viet Nam Disability Survey is one of the first national disability surveys in the world that incorporates both the Washington Group (WG) Extended Set of disability questions for adults and the UNICEF/Washington Group Child Functioning Module (CFM) for the identification of persons with disabilities via a survey. The survey was conducted with support from related ministries, provincial authorities, international organizations including UNICEF, the Washington Group on Disability Statistics, and the Australian Government.
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Disability among children is more difficult to assess than that among adults because children are developing over time. Particular age-appropriate activities such as mobility, cognition, communication, playing, making friends, behaving, and staying on task, can be performed with variation among children, but without necessarily being considered as an impairment. As such, it is important to use disability identification instruments that work well for children. The National Survey on People with Disabilities successfully conducted by the General Statistics Office of Viet Nam in 2016-2017 with technical assistance by UNICEF, used the Child Functioning Module developed by the Washington Group and UNICEF in 2016 to identify children with disabilities. Viet Nam is among the first countries in the world to adopt this international standard tool.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.