14 November 2021

Nearly 240 million children with disabilities around the world.

New report from UNICEF exposes the depth of deprivation experienced by the 1 in 10 children with disabilities worldwide across several indicators of well-being, including health, education and protection.

The number of children with disabilities globally is estimated at almost 240 million, according to a new UNICEF report. Children with disabilities are disadvantaged compared to children without disabilities on most measures of child well-being.

The report includes internationally comparable data from 42 countries and covers more than 60 indicators of child well-being – from nutrition and health, to access to water and sanitation, protection from violence and exploitation, and education.

Compared with children without disabilities, children with disabilities are:

  • 24 per cent less likely to receive early stimulation and responsive care;
  • 42 per cent less likely to have foundational reading and numeracy skills;
  • 25 per cent more likely to be wasted and 34 per cent more likely to be stunted;
  • 53 per cent more likely to have symptoms of acute respiratory infection;
  • 49 per cent more likely to have never attended school;
  • 47 per cent more likely to be out of primary school, 33 per cent more likely to be out of lower-secondary school and 27 per cent more likely to be out of upper secondary school;
  • 51 per cent more likely to feel unhappy;
  • 41 per cent more likely to feel discriminated against;
  • 32 per cent more likely to experience severe corporal punishment.

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