GLOBAL: International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Summary: This year's theme is "Keeping the promise: Mainstreaming disability in the Millennium Development Goals towards 2015 and beyond"

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) took effect on 3 May 2008, a month after Ecuador became the 20th ratifying nation. The Convention, which has so far been ratified by 25 countries, expressly recognises the equality of persons with disabilities for the first time in international law.

The CRPD, which was adopted in 2006 after four years of negotiations, is the first human rights Convention of the 21st century, and addresses civil, political, social economic and cultural rights.

Can you believe this? Facts and figures on children with disabilities

  • Up to 150 million children globally have a disability and the numbers are rising
  • Children with disabilities are disproportionately likely to live in poverty
  • 50% of children who are deaf and 60% of those with an intellectual impairment are sexually abused
  • Parents and medical professionals who murder children with disabilities often have reduced sentences and use mercy killing defences – the lives of children with disabilities are not treated as of equal value with others
  • In some countries 90% of children with disabilities will not survive beyond the age of 20
  • 98% of children with disabilities across the developing world have no access to education
  • Discrimination in relation to life saving treatments, to health care, to child care services and education is endemic
  • Access to justice is routinely denied because they are not considered credible witnesses

[Source: Draft version of 'Promoting the Rights of Children with Disabilities: A guide to using the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities with the Convention on the Rights of the Child,' produced on behalf of the Save the Children Alliance by Sweden and the UK] 

Children with disabilites and the Convention on the Rights of the Child

The CRC has special provisions for children with a disability. Article 2.1 prohibits discrimination on various grounds, including disability. Article 23 sets out the right to special care, education and training.

In October 2006, the Committee on the Rights of the Child published its General Comment No. 6 on "The Rights of Children with Disabilities."

For more information on children's rights and disability, click here.

Countries