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Children with disabilities in situations of armed conflict - a discussion paper

THOMAS, Edward
et al
November 2018

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During armed conflict, children with disabilities are caught in a vicious cycle of violence, social polarization, deteriorating services and deepening poverty. Global estimates suggest there are between 93 million and 150 million children with disabilities under the age of 15.Given that disability is often not reported due to stigma there is reason to believe actual prevalence could be much higher. Although efforts to ensure the fulfilment of their rights have improved, girls and boys with disabilities continue to remain among the most marginalized and excluded segment of the population. This is amplified during situations of armed conflict. The barriers to full participation they face on a day-to-day basis are intensified and compounded when infrastructure is destroyed, and services and systems are compromised and made inaccessible. This results in the further exclusion and marginalization of children with disabilities, and prevents them from accessing schooling, health and psychosocial support, or a means of escape from conflict.

 

When systems and services break down, children are also left more susceptible to violence. Injuries sustained by many children during armed conflict may also lead to long-term impairments. There are six grave violations of children’s rights and protection in armed conflict that are on the agenda of the United Nations (UN) Security Council; killing and maiming, recruitment and use of children, rape or other sexual violence, abduction, attacks on schools or hospitals, and denial of humanitarian access. Governments around the world have committed themselves to respect, promote, and fulfil the rights of children with disabilities, including in situations of armed conflict, and progress is being made. Efforts by a broad range of actors to implement the CRPD, CRC and other human rights instruments include the development of standards to address the rights and needs of persons with disabilities in humanitarian crises, and guidance on making humanitarian response, development and peacebuilding more inclusive. Efforts to improve the collection and use of data concerning children and adults with disabilities are also underway. Yet, as this discussion paper makes clear, much more needs to be done. Investments in disability-inclusive humanitarian action and recovery from crises will pay off, contributing towards a dividend of peace built on greater equality, tolerance and justice. 

Including children with disabilities in humanitarian action

UNICEF
July 2017

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"The purpose of Including Children with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action is to strengthen the inclusion of children and women with disabilities, and their families, in emergency preparedness, response and early recovery, and recovery and reconstruction. This series of booklets provides insight into the situation of children with disabilities in humanitarian contexts, highlights the ways in which they are excluded from humanitarian action, and offers practical actions and tips to better include children and adolescents with disabilities in all stages of humanitarian action. The booklets were created in response to UNICEF colleagues in the field expressing a need for a practical resource to guide their work. The information and recommendations are based on evidence and good practices gathered from literature and field staff experiences. The six booklets on how to include children and adolescents with disabilities in humanitarian programmes are as follows: 1) general guidance; 2) child protection; 3) education; 4) health and HIV/AIDS; 5) nutrition; 6) water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)".

General guidance available July 2017. Others to follow.

In addition to the PDF versions in English, Arabic and French, the guidance is also available in a range of accessible formats, including EPUB, a Braille-ready file and accessible HTML formats. 

The guidance was developed in collaboration with Handicap International.

 

Accessible formats:

DAISY [zip file]

EPUB [EPUB]

HTML [zip file]

Braille-ready 

 

 

Additional resources:

Checklist for including children with disabilities in preparedness [English] [French]

Checklist for including children with disabilities in response and early recovery [English] [French]

Checklist for including children with disabilities in recovery and reconstruction 

Capturing the difference we make : community-based rehabilitation indicators manual

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO)
2015

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This manual presents indicators that "capture the difference (Community-Based Rehabilitation) CBR makes in the lives of people with disabilities in the communities where it is implemented. This manual presents these (base and supplementary) indicators and provides simple guidance on collecting the data needed to inform them. The indicators have been developed to show the difference between people living with a disability and their families and those without disabilities in relation to the information reported in the indicators. This comparability provides valuable information to CBR managers, donors and government agencies alike, which can be used to guide decision-making, support advocacy and improve accountability. Further, the ability of the indicators to provide a comparison of the populations of persons with disability to persons without disability aligns with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which states that persons with disability have equal rights to those without disabilities...this manual serves to standardize the monitoring of differences made by in the lives of people with disabilities and their families, making it possible to compare the difference CBR makes across areas and countries. This manual aligns with the WHO Global Disability Action Plan 2014–2021, and may also be used to monitor other development plans in an easy and efficient way”

The state of the world's children 2014 in numbers : every child counts

UNITED NATIONS CHILDREN’S FUND (UNICEF)
January 2014

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This report highlights the critical role data and monitoring play in realising children’s rights. It presents an updated compendium of statistics and data (which has been produced thirty years after the initial report) relating to the position of children throughout the world but particularly within the Global South. The data indicators cover a vast range: from demography, health and education, to rate of progression, child mortality, and disparities by household wealth. It emphasises that credible data, disseminated effectively and used correctly, make change possible to target interventions that help right the wrong of exclusion by identifying needs, supporting advocacy, gauging progress and holding duty bearers to account

Include us! : a study of disability among Plan International's sponsored children

PLAN INTERNATIONAL
MONTEAT-VAN DOCK, Adrienne
December 2013

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This study report reveals that children with disabilities in developing countries are being held back from an education. Based upon Plan’s dataset of 1.4 million sponsored children, the report compares sponsored children with a disability to those without, from 30 countries worldwide
Key findings include: children with disabilities are 10 times more likely not to attend school when they do attend school; their level of schooling is below that of their peers; and children with disabilities are much more likely to have had a serious illness in the last 12 months, including malaria and malnutrition. The findings will help Plan and other researchers and organisations to improve responses to the needs of children with disabilities, particularly their health and education

World report on disability

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION
WORLD BANK
2011

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This report "reviews evidence about the situation of people with disabilities around the world. Following chapters on understanding disability and measuring disability, the report contains topic-specific chapters on health; rehabilitation; assistance and support; enabling environments; education; and employment. Within each chapter, there is a discussion of the barriers confronted, and case studies showing how countries have succeeded in addressing these by promoting good practice. In its final chapter, the report offers nine concrete recommendations for policy and practice which if put in place could lead to real improvements in the lives of people with disability"

Disabled children : a legal handbook

BROACH, Steve
CLEMENTS, Luke
READ, Janet
2010

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This handbook aims to empower disabled children and their families through a greater understanding of their rights and entitlements in England and Wales. It is useful reading for the families of disabled children, their advocates and lawyers, voluntary and statutory sector advisers, commissioners, managers and lawyers working for public authorities, education, social and health care professionals, students and academics

Habilitation, rehabilitation and general health care : facing challenges ahead to realize the goals of the CRPD

GROCE, Nora
MONTERO, Federico
2008

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Children with disabilities need improved access to good clinical care and public health services in order to achieve and maintain the best health possible. As increasing numbers of children with disabilities are living longer and fuller lives, child advocates must improve the access to both general health care and to needed habilitation or rehabilitation services and assistive devices, if these children are to reach their full potential. Such services should become increasingly available as countries adopt and then implement the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

NI 54 : services for disabled children

SOLUTIONS4INCLUSION
May 2007

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This factsheet describes how an indicator for services for disabled children will be developed in the UK. The indicator will be based on an achieved sample of a minimum of 200 parents of disabled children in each local area using surveys. The survey will be used to calculate a national baseline indicator and produce a report. Details are provided for the associated toolkit, reports and related project links

Disability in Bangladesh : a situation analysis

THE DANISH BILHARZIASIS LABORATORY (DBL)
May 2004

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This report assesses the situation and needs in relation to disability in Bangladesh. It presents detailed information by assessing the prevalence, severity and causes of disability in Bangladesh, focusing particularly on children; by analyzing the current scope of initiatives on disability in the country in the public and private sectors and in NGOs; and by offering both short- and long-term recommendations for research, policy development and support for interventions in the health and education sectors. This report would be useful for those who are interested in disability policy development in Bangladesh

Young power in social action

YOUNG POWER IN SOCIAL ACTION (YPSA)

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Young Power in Social Action (YPSA) is a social development organisation working in 12 districts in Bangladesh to fight poverty and increase the participation of vulnerable groups in sustainable development. Their projects and activities focus upon health, human rights, education, disaster management, environment and biodiversity, knowledge and capacity development, and economic development. The website provides links to related organisations, reports, publications and news link

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