Children with Disabilities

Africa has one of the largest populations of children with disabilities in the world.  Disability in the continent has been fueled by widespread armed conflicts and the legacy thereof, particularly in the form of uncleared mines, and by household poverty allied with a lack of adequate healthcare services. 

Despite the significant scale of the challenge, sufficient attention has not been accorded to the issue, either in research, policy and legislation or in service programming.  An interconnected set of factors explain this sorry state of affairs: limited political commitment, a genuine lack of resources, and lack of knowledge of current policy and legislative and programming options.  Furthermore, due to disability-related stigma, discrimination and multiple other barriers, children with disabilities are often subject to violence and sexual abuse, and often forced to work under exploitative and dangerous conditions.

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Disabling Barriers

Featured Publications

The African Report on Children with Disabilities

This report provides a detailed description, analysis and synthesis of the situation of children with disabilities across Africa, and gives concrete recommendations for future policy and programme reform. The report reviews the situation of children with disabilities from a pan-African perspective, and presents recommendations to promote inclusive and accessible laws, policies, and programmes for children with disabilities throughout Africa. The report is based on extensive research and evidence generated by ACPF and other institutions.


Access Denied : Voices of persons with disabilities from Africa

Towards greater mainstreaming of children with disabilities within the Disabled People’s Organisations (DPO) agenda. This report is a synthesis of regional capacity assessments of DPOs conducted in the Southern and Eastern African regions and in the Western, Central and North African regions. The assessments highlight various challenges faced by DPOs in promoting the rights of persons with disabilities and identify existing capacity gaps. The report also tries to provide important insights into how DPOs, in collaboration with governments, CSOs, development partners and donors, can further contribute to advancing the rights and inclusion of children with disabilities.


Assessing Disabled People's Organisations in Africa with a Child Rights Lens

This report assesses selected African cities in light of the accessibility and disability-friendliness of their built environments. The report identifies the barriers that persons with disabilities have to deal with in their day to day lives, and highlights some exemplary achievements in the creation of disability-friendly services and infrastructures. By drawing attention to the truly monumental barriers that children and persons with disabilities have to contend with, this report calls for the commitment of all stakeholders towards creating an ‘Africa fit for children with disabilities’.


An independent, not-for-profit, Pan-African
Institute of policy research and dialogue on the African child.

Founded 2003
Founder Assefa Bequele, PhD

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