Violence Against Children with Disabilities in Africa: Field Studies from Cameroon, Ethiopia, Senegal, Uganda and Zambia

Theme:
  • Violence Against Children
Pages: 80
Year of Publication: 2010
Country: Africa

The United Nations 2006 World Report on Violence against Children contains a central overarching message: no violence against children is justifiable and all violence against children is preventable. Despite this fundamental principle however, the report and many like it fail to adequately address the increased risk of violence to children with disabilities, an oversight that perpetuates the susceptibility to violence of this vulnerable group.

World Bank estimates place the number of people with disabilities across the world at approximately 600 million. This number is expected to increase due to changing global dynamics such as an increase in both population ageing and violent conflict, both of which are highly correlated with disability incidence (Kangere 2003).

Given that 60-80 million persons with disabilities are estimated to live on the African continent alone, the violence faced by Africa’s children with disabilities is especially worthy of concern. This report identifies and examines the trends in physical, emotional and sexual violence felt by a cohort of just under 1000 young people with disabilities across Cameroon, Ethiopia, Senegal, Uganda and Zambia during their childhoods.

This study is aimed at increasing understanding of the patterns and dynamics of violence experienced by this vulnerable and frequently overlooked demographic group in Africa. The assessment hopes to increase awareness of the situation of children with disabilities and to promote their protection from violence and abuse. The study was conducted in each country by a dedicated team of disability specialists and featured approximately 210 cohorts 18-24 years old, young people with disabilities who were questioned about their childhood experiences of violence. The interview findings, alongside the findings of focus group discussions, interviews with key informants and secondary research, show evidence across all five countries of disturbing practices of recurrent and socially-accepted multiple episodes of violence against children with disabilities, which impact negatively on their social and emotional development.

One hundred per cent of the sample had suffered at least one episode of emotional and sexual violence (all 956 persons surveyed), and 81.5% had additionally suffered at least one category of physical violence – this does not include multiple episodes of the same category of violence, which further raises the magnitude.

Language: English
Published by: African Child Policy Forum (ACPF)
Author: African Child Policy Forum (ACPF)
Located in: Publications
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