A new publication by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has revealed that children with disabilities were among the most disadvantaged during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Mr Mark Hereward, UNICEF’s Associate Director, Data & Analytics, Division of Data, Analytics, Planning and Monitoring said this in a statement on Friday.
Hereward said that the publication, “Children with Disabilities: Ensuring their inclusion in COVID-19 response strategies and evidence generation” was released on the occasion of the international Day of Persons with Disabilities marked annually on Dec. 3.
According to him, even before the pandemic children with disabilities face increased exposure to abuse and discrimination as well as reduced access to services in many parts of the world.
“This publication uses existing data to illustrate the vulnerabilities that place children with disabilities at higher risk during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It documents what has happened to services for children and adults with disabilities across the world and includes examples of what has been done to address disruptions in services.
“It also discusses the challenges in generating disability-inclusive data during the pandemic,” he said.
Hereward noted that the publication obtained from UNICEF’S website, data.unicef.org, compared to children without disabilities, 57 per cent of children with disabilities are less likely to have books in their households.
According to him, 32 per cent of such children were less likely to read books or be read to at home.
“The impacts of COVID-19 on children with disabilities, services that are being disrupted include health services in more than one-third of countries; social protection systems in at least one-quarter of countries; learning support in at least half of countries.”
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