Children with disabilities likely to face violence: Unicef

New Delhi, May 30 (IANS) Children with disabilities are three to four times more likely to be victims of violence at home or outside, according to an Unicef report.

The Unicef State of the World’s Children report 2013 released here Thursday says that prevalence estimates of violence against children with disabilities was 26.7 percent across the world.

A total of 20.4 percent children with disabilities have faced physical violence while 13.7 percent have encountered sexual violence.

Estimates of risk indicated that children with disabilities were at a significantly greater risk of experiencing violence than peers without disabilities, the report said.

Children with mental or intellectual disabilities were 4.6 times more likely to be victims of sexual violence than their non-disabled peers.

Another focus area was the failure of children to thrive in institutions where they were admitted due to their disabilities, mental or physical.

Throughout the world, millions of children with disabilities are separated from their families and places in orphanages, boarding schools, psychiatric facilities and social care homes, the report said.

“Even in institutions with adequate food, we often observe children who are emaciated because they simply stop eating – a condition called failure to thrive. Many children are left to languish,” it said.

It is not only about simply bringing children with disabilities into regular schools. It is about providing them much needed facilities such as access to braille, sign language, an inclusive curriculum and where education can lead to a job or other means of earning a living.

In this regard, Louis Georges Arsenault, the Unicef country representative, said: “Each child is an individual in his own right. He has the same right as any other child in the world.”

Arsenault cautioned against speculative and unreliable data on people living with disabilities.

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