Disabilities in today’s world

From the UNICEF Report on the situation of children with disabilities, alarming are the conditions for the 93 million children with disabilities in the world and even more are the children who could become disabled, because of the effects of wars and extreme poverty. It is estimated that about 165 million children under five have stunted growth or are chronically malnourished (ie about 28% of children under five in low and middle-income countries). The consequences of chronic malnutrition make them at risk of disability, cognitive deficiencies and poor school performance begins when malnourished children are very small, and become irreversible when it exceed two years. In addition 500 thousand children risk to become blind due to lack of vitamin A, which costs only a few cents. Every year thousand children are victims of landmines and explosive remnants from wars. 

Few governments have plans to allocate resources to the support and care of children with disabilities and their families. About a third of the countries in the world, also have not yet ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

According to the report, children with disabilities are among the most marginalized people in the world. If children living in poverty are less likely to attend school or access health care, those with disabilities have even less possibilities. Girls with disabilities are less likely than boys to receive food or care. Discrimination is a form of violence and multiple deprivations lead to greater exclusion for many children with disabilities.

In summary, they have fewer opportunities to receive medical treatment or to go to school. They live in families with generally lower incomes than other households. They are among the most vulnerable to violence, abuse and exploitation especially if they are hidden or institutionalized, as it happens to many of them because of social stigma or because of the costs of raising them. Thus not only children with disabilities but disabled in general are the losers in Global Political Economy.

 http://www.unicef.org/sowc2013/files/SWCR2013_ENG_Lo_res_24_Apr_2013.pdf

Francesca Urso (Dubai Campus)

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