The Nazareth Home for God’s Children supports children living with a disability.

Some of the older children at the Nazareth Home for God’s Children help out with chores.

Children from the Nazareth Home for God’s Children.

Children at the Nazareth Home have an opportunity to learn and play together.

Children with a disability

Some groups of children face especially high barriers to securing their rights. By some estimates, 150 million children around the world have disabilities.57 They are among the most structurally disadvantaged children in many societies, and are over-represented in poorer countries and amongst the poorest households: 1 in 5 of the poorest people in the world have a disability.58 Disability is both a cause and consequence of poverty: disease, lack of medical care, malnutrition and conflict all make children in already poor families more likely to be disabled. But disability also pushes households into poverty, and makes it more likely that children will grow up without their rights secured.

As with many groups of children facing discrimination, data are patchy, but it’s estimated that fewer than half of all children with disabilities complete primary schooling, and that one-third of all out of school children have a disability.59 In Bangladesh, 30% of people with disabilities had completed primary school, compared with 48% of those with no disabilities.60

Gender and Child Rights

Behind national data there is a complex picture of specific groups of children being bypassed by recent gains. Despite many improvements in the status of girls, around the world they continue to face barriers to equality with boys (see box 5). For example, 5 million more girls than boys of primary age are out of school, girls are more likely than boys never to enrol, and female primary enrolment continues to lag behind boys in roughly 30 countries.46

Children living on the street

Some of the children most vulnerable to exploitation and abuse are those living and working on the street. Definitions vary and there are gaps in the data, but it’s estimated that tens of millions of children are affected.64 In India alone, estimates range from 11-18 million children.65 While the contexts in which they live and work vary widely, many such children have already been subjected to serious violations of their rights before they spend time on the streets, whether at home, or in care or juvenile justice institutions. Once on the street, many children are unable to get access to essential services, and report violence and abuse at the hands of police, and vulnerability to criminal gangs.66