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Human Rights Watch

Human Rights of Women and Children with Disabilities


There are an estimated one billion people, or 15 percent of the world’s population, living with a disability, according to the World Health Organization. Despite this, people with disabilities face barriers to inclusion and their needs are often given low priority. Women and children with disabilities are particularly vulnerable to discrimination. They experience multiple discrimination—both from their disability and their age or gender. In many parts of the world, it is common practice to isolate, abuse, and deny basic human rights to these particularly vulnerable groups.

Human Rights Watch has conducted numerous investigations into human rights abuses against women and children with disabilities, including on the following topics:

• Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Targeted at Women and Girls with Disabilities;
• Discrimination in Health and Reproductive Rights, including Forced Sterilization and HIV and Disability;
• Barriers to Education for Children with Disabilities;
• Violence against Children with Disabilities in Schools; and
• Abuses in Institutions.

Women and Children with Disabilities brochure (PDF)


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Information in this article was accurate in September 11, 2012. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.