Seen, Counted, Included: Using Data to Shed Light on the Well-Being of Children with Disabilities


Millions of children with disabilities around the globe continue to be left behind, despite the near-universal ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the call for action embedded in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the clear mandate set by the Sustainable Development Goals. Often, this neglect is the result of limited data. When absent from official statistics, children and adults with disabilities remain politically and socially ‘invisible’, increasing their marginalization and exposure to rights violations.

Recent years have seen renewed interest in generating reliable and internationally comparable data on children with disabilities. This has led to the development of new tools for data collection, including the Child Functioning Module, released by UNICEF and the Washington Group on Disability Statistics in 2016. It has also resulted in a substantial increase in the availability of data on children with disabilities over the last five years, fostering new data analyses and contributing to increased knowledge generation.

Using the latest available data, the publication covers more than 60 indicators of child well-being – from nutrition and health, to access to water and sanitation, protection from violence and exploitation, and education. The report also includes the first-ever global and regional estimates of children with disabilities.

Executive Summary: