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Resource id #4 Neglect & stigma causing exclusion of children with disabilities: UNICEF - Volume 4 Issue 1: Disability News and Information Service for India

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Volume 4 Issue 1 - January 01, 2006

Neglect & stigma causing exclusion of children with disabilities: UNICEF

D.N.I.S. News Network- Most among an estimated 150 million children with disabilities in the world face exclusion on a daily basis, says a recent global report by UNICEF.

The vast majority of children with disabilities in the developing world have no access to rehabilitative healthcare or support services and many are unable to acquire formal education, says the report titled “The State of the World’s Children 2006: Excluded and Invisible.

In many cases, disabled children are simply withdrawn from the community life, even if they are not actively shunned or maltreated. They are often left without adequate care the report says while adding that “Where special provision is made for children with disabilities it often still involves segregating them in institutions – the population of disabled children living in public institutions has increased.”

Many disabilities in developing countries are caused by deprivation of essential goods and services, especially in early childhood. Lack of parental care adds to the risk of disability, while malnutrition can result in poor resistance to diseases.

Regardless of the causes, the report adds, or no matter where they live children with disabilities are liable to end up neglected in campaigns for development that focus merely on statistical targets based on national aggregates.

The report says millions of children disappear from view when trafficked or forced to work in domestic servitude. Other children, such as street children, live in plain sight but are excluded from fundamental services and protections. Not only do these children endure abuse, most are shut out from school, healthcare and other vital services they need to grow and thrive.

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