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Children with disabilities

Some 93 million children ─ or 1 in 20 of those aged 14 or younger ─ live with a moderate or severe disability of some kind. Most societies are inaccessible for children with disabilities. Prejudices, negative attitudes, traditions and inadequate knowledge and poor resourcing present obstacles for children with disabilities in accessing their rights.

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UN CRC) is the foundation for Save the Children work. UN CRC states that children with disability have the same rights as other children. This means that they have the right to grow up in an environment that supports their development, that they have the right to express their opinions, to be heard and that they are entitled to education. The rights of children with disabilities are reinforced in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). States which have signed these conventions are responsible for promoting and fulfilling the rights of all children including children with disabilities.

Article 2 of the UN CRC, which is one of four fundamental principles, prescribes that no one should be discriminated against on the grounds of race, color, sex or disability. However, discrimination and exclusion are common for the majority of people with disability, particularly children. They are often an invisible group in important policies and plans. National policies and plans on education seldom have enough focus on children with disability and their inclusion. Another challenge is that children with disability are often considered as victims and that they lack the capacity to influence their own situation. 

Save the Children advocates for the realization of the rights of children with disability and to ensure that they have the same opportunities, receive proper support and education and that they are empowered to influence their own situation.

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