Protect us! Inclusion of children with disabilities in child protection

Protect us! Inclusion of children with disabilities in child protection

Children with disabilities experience very high levels of violence, according to this research from Plan International and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

The new study carried out in Uganda and Malawi provides valuable insights into the lives of children with disabilities. Key findings include:

  • girls and boys with disabilities experience extremely high levels of violence: 84% of children with disabilities surveyed reported having experienced some form of violence at school in the previous week
  • girls with disabilities were more likely to report emotional and sexual violence than girls without disabilities
  • children with disabilities find it difficult to access community-based child protection mechanisms, due to a range of barriers including environmental barriers, social barriers and institutional barriers

Recommendations for organisations:

  • develop targeted programmes aiming to prevent and respond to violence against children with disabilities
  • take concrete steps to ensure mainstream child protection programmes are accessible and inclusive
  • build knowledge and capacity of child protection professionals and community-based volunteers on the rights, vulnerabilities and capacities of children with disabilities

Recommendations to governments:

  • evaluate formal child protection services for accessibility and inclusion, and make necessary adaptations to ensure they are suitable for children with disabilities, regardless of type of impairment
  • provide safe, inclusive education for all children

Recommendations for research:

  • conduct research on the root causes of violence against children with disabilities, how they can be prevented, and how different elements of child protection systems can be made inclusive of and effective for children with disabilities
  1. How good is this research?

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