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Fresh evidence on global development progress for persons with disabilities unveiled

The development progress for persons with disabilities is flagged

17th December 2018: The first global United Nations report to examine disability and the Sustainable Development Goals provides fresh evidence on the need for progress to close the gap in outcomes between persons with and without disability.  

The flagship publication is the product of contributions from more than 200 experts from international agencies, member states and civil society. It also includes unique analyses of national disability statistics and comparable data on a wide range of indicators related to the SDGs. 

Progress has been made in recent years, but persons with disabilities continue to face a range of barriers to their full inclusion and participation in the life of their communities. In many countries, the poverty rate for persons with disabilities is disproportionately high, and women with disabilities are “two times more likely to be poor” than their male counterparts. An estimated one in three children with disabilities of primary school age is out of school, compared to one in seven for children without disabilities. 

Bjorn Gelders, Heiner Salomon and Patrick Llewellin provided Development Pathways’ situational analyses for the landmark report, Realization of the Sustainable Development Goals By, For and With Persons with Disabilities. More and more countries are integrating disability questions into national household surveys, making it possible to start tracking equity gaps and developing a stronger evidence base. 

The document points the way to how the global community builds on and extends the progress made in some regions.  

The challenge of the additional costs persons with disabilities face to make progress at school and enter the workplace is set out. The report estimates that having a moderate disability increases the cost of living worldwide by around a third of average income, a severe disability by more than 40%. The solution of better coverage of social protection is recommended so that persons with disabilities can overcome these hurdles. 

Progress is being made in a number of nations that have implemented universal schemes, as for example, in South Africa – although the issue that significant numbers are not yet accessing payments – as many as four tenths of persons with disabilities in some of the poorest areas – is flagged. This follows evidence on this we provided earlier this year, and underlines the need for further action so they can live fulfilling lives. 

The report can be viewed by clicking here.

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