The proportion of children who go to school has increased rapidly in recent years in the world. But according to the UN Children's Fund Unicef, there are still 258 million children up to the age of 17 who are deprived of their right to schooling. The group has 121 million children between the ages of 6 and 14, who should go to primary school. A large proportion of these are children with disabilities.
The UN states that available data show that on average one in three children with disabilities in the world does not go to primary school. It can be compared with one in seven children among the rest of the population.
Significantly fewer people with disabilities can read and write, 54 percent, according to a survey conducted in 36 countries. This can be compared with 77 percent among those who do not have a disability. At the same time, the UN highlights the major differences that exist between different countries. The situation in Cambodia is an example. It is stated that it is eight times more common for children with disabilities not to go to school, compared with other children.
There has long been a great lack of reliable statistics on people with disabilities in the world. In countries where it is stigmatizing to have children with disabilities, the figures for the number of children kept at home can be significantly higher than what appears in the official statistics. In some cases, children born with disabilities are not even registered by the authorities.
Previous UN studies have shown alarming estimates from developing countries - that up to nine out of ten children with disabilities in these countries do not go to school.