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Last update: Mar 2009

UNICEF documents and publications

  • UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre, 'Promoting the Rights of Children with Disabilities', 2008 [External link]

    The Innocenti Digest on 'Promoting the Rights of Children with Disabilities' examines the situation of the some 200 million children with disabilities around the world and identifies ways to support the realization of their rights. Children with disabilities constantly face barriers to the enjoyment of their rights and inclusion in society. But the tide is changing, as many countries have begun to reform their laws and structures in the past two decades to promote the participation of children with disabilities as full members of society. The Digest promotes such participation, and discusses all aspects of their development, including access to education, health services and rehabilitation, social and legal assistance, play and cultural activities, vocational and life-skills training. It focuses on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which building on the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, opens a new era in securing the rights of children with disabilities.


  • Monitoring Child Disability in Developing Countries: Results from the Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys, 2008 [PDF]

    Despite the global interest in child disability, relatively little is known about the situation of children with disabilities, particularly in developing countries. As a first step toward addressing this paucity of information, UNICEF recommended inclusion of a disability module, the Ten Questions screen for child disability (or TQ), in its Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS). Twenty-six of the 50 countries that participated in the third round of MICS, administered in 2005–2008, included this optional child disability module. Results from 20 of these countries are reviewed in this report. In particular, this publication provides:
    - An assessment of the TQ as a measure of children at risk for disability in MICS3, including a comparison of the reliability of the TQ in different countries.
    - An analysis of the TQ results, including a descriptive analysis of the percentage of children who screened positive to the TQ by sociodemographic characteristics (such as gender, age, place of residence) and by factors that are potentially associated with TQ results, like education of parents and children, family wealth level, child discipline and nutritional variables.
    - An example of the type of multivariate analysis that can be conducted with these data to evaluate the association between several risk factors potentially associated with screening positive to the TQ Disability Module.
    - Interpretation of analyses, reporting of key findings and recommendations for future monitoring of the situation of children with disabilities.


  • UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre, ‘Children and Disability in Transition in CEE/CIS and Baltic States’, 2005 [External link]

    This Innocenti Insight looks at how children with disabilities and their families have fared in the rapidly changing environment of this wide region, since transition in the late 1980s. It builds upon the body of research and policy reflections accrued at the UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre (IRC) in cooperation with national statistical offices and UNICEF, as UNICEF IRC has tracked and explored the impact on children and their families of economic and social changes in the region since the transition began. This report draws upon three new pieces of research that include data, a qualitative survey and first-person interviews. The results highlight the legacies of the past, the momentum for change and areas where action is further needed. Institutionalization, segregation and discrimination are still prominent features of the environment in which children with disabilities live across the region.


  • UNICEF, Violence against Children with Disabilities, Summary Report, 2005[PDF]

    This report presents the findings of the Thematic Group on Violence against Disabled Children, convened by UNICEF at UN Headquarters in New York on 28 July 2005 and charged with the task of providing comments and recommendations on violence against disabled children to be made available for the UN Secretary-General’s Report on Violence against Children. In this report, key issues on violence against children with disabilities will be reviewed. Some of the issues raised will be familiar to those who work on violence against children. Other issues will be disability-specific and even experts and advocates on violence against children may be unfamiliar with them or have not thought deeply about the implications that such practices have in relation to violence against and abuse of disabled children.


  • UNICEF Nairobi, ‘Child Friendly Schools and Care and Support in Schools’, UNGEI FORUM, 2005 [PDF]

    This publication gathers articles on the theme of child friendly schools and care and support in schools. The first article of the UNGEI FORUM (the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative newsletter) provides an overview of the first Multi-country Child Friendly Schools for Africa Capacity Development Workshop held in Malawi in August 2005. The following three articles highlight what the Schools for Africa Initiative offers to the participating countries. The article by Tizie Maphalala introduces the Education Ministers’ Forum on Care and Support in Schools held in Swaziland in September 2005. What follows are reports written by young people from Botswana and Lesotho who participated in the Swaziland Forum.


  • UNICEF Bangkok, Inclusive Education Initiatives for Children: Lessons from the East Asia and Pacific Region, 2003 [PDF]

    This paper highlights good examples of inclusive education initiatives in Cambodia, China, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Viet Nam and Thailand. In addition, one chapter presents an example of model legislation and policy supporting inclusive education, while another showcases a unique model school where children with disabilities make up 10 per cent of the student population and innovative methods have been adopted to make the educational experience non-discriminatory, participatory and child-centred. The final chapter sums up the lessons learned and provides recommendations for “ways forward” in meeting the goals of equal access to quality education for children with disabilities in the next decade.


  • UNICEF, ‘An Overview of Young People Living with Disabilities: Their needs and their rights’, 1999 [PDF]

    In this paper, findings from the global UNICEF survey on Young People with Disabilities are discussed. Over 200 organizations and advocacy groups representing disabled people and adolescents with disabilities in 40 countries were asked to respond to a survey on current social, educational and recreational opportunities available to adolescents and youth with disabilities. In addition, medical, religious and social organizations were asked to provide information on programmes that include adolescents and youth with disabilities. The global demographic, social and economic issues encountered by young people with disabilities are presented in this paper, and some of the innovative programmes and approaches that have successfully reached these most needy children are highlighted.


  • Cappa, C. and E. Loaiza, ‘Measuring Children’s Disability via Household Surveys: The MICS experience’, paper presented at the 2005 Population Association of America (PAA) meeting, Philadelphia, Pa., 30 March–2 April 2005 [PDF]

    This paper documents the intent for data collection on child disability via household surveys, specifically via the second round of the Multiple Indicators Cluster Surveys (MICS2). During the period 1999–2001 a total of 65 countries implemented MICS, of which 22 included a disability module of Ten Questions measuring activities and participation of children 2–9 years of age. Parents/caretakers of these children responded questions about the following impairments: vision, hearing, understanding, movement, crisis/fits, learning, speak, speech (3–9 years old), name of objects (2 years old), and mental.

    Disability prevalence was analysed by demographic and socio-economic characteristics of the children, their mother/caretaker or their household. Finally, the paper analysed the relationship between disability and child development by looking at levels of registration, stunting, vaccination and early education participation among children 2–4 years of age. Among children 5–9 years of age we looked at the levels of school attendance by disability status of the child. Although disabled children 2–4 years of age appeared to be in disadvantage in the four variables used, a more detailed analysis will be needed in order to clarify the statistical relationship.


  • UNICEF, Briefing on Draft UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, September 2006 [PDF]

    This document presents observations made by UNICEF on the draft Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in order to reinforce and complement the Convention on the Rights of the Child. After eight rounds of negotiations, the Convention's final text now includes several child-specific references, raising the profile of children with disabilities and imposing obligations on governments to ensure they are afforded equal respect for their rights.


  • PowerPoint presentation on Statistical Evidence for Child Disability [PTT]

    This PowerPoint presentation, prepared for the 2005 Population Association of America (PAA) Meeting, held in Philadelphia in April 2005, displays, in a concise way, the main facts on child disability presented in the paper ‘Measuring Children’s Disability via Household Surveys: The MICS experience’.


  • PowerPoint presentation on UNICEF's work in support of children with disabilities [PTT]

    This PowerPoint presentation displays, in a concise way, the UNICEF approach and action for preventing disability, improving inclusion, ensuring equal access to social services, protecting children with disabilities from violence, abuse and exploitation and promoting an environment of acceptance, understanding and non-discrimination.