In order to ensure that all children and youth have an equal chance at a full life, the barriers faced by children with special needs in society need to be addressed. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities clearly delineates the equal rights of children and adults with disabilities. It calls on nations to pass legislation needed for ensuring equity and nondiscrimination across all areas of life. This builds on previous conventions including the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) which requires in Article 23 that “1. States Parties recognize that a mentally or physically disabled child should enjoy a full and decent life, in conditions which ensure dignity, promote self-reliance and facilitate the child’s active participation in the community.”
Our data examine whether equal rights for children with special needs have been recognized constitutionally, whether education is inclusive, and whether countries provide direct assistance to families to help with the additional financial costs of raising children with disabilities.