Working with and for Youth with Disabilities

Globally, there are over 650 million persons with disabilities, and around a third of these are youth, with nearly 80% living in developing countries. The World Programme of Action for Youth to the Year 2000 and beyond urges countries to take measures to develop the possibilities of youth with disabilities.

However, youth with disabilities is a severely under-researched area, with limited data on its prevalence and the effects on youth themselves, which hampers any effort to develop specific policy responses. 

Within the renewed strategic objectives on youth, UNESCO's Programme for Social and Human Sciences is increasingly focusing on the situation of youth with disabilities to enable them to develop their skills and access opportunities to engage as fully-fledged actors for development and peace in their communities.

Applying a human rights and gender-based lens to its programme, UNESCO addresses opportunities and challenges for youth with disabilities within ongoing work on knowledge production and research for policy development; and on youth civic engagement and participation.

The work on sport, particularly in the framework of the Intergovernmental Committee on Physical Education and Sport (CIGEPS) and the cooperation with the International Paralympic Committee, is directly connected to this effort. It also benefits from the UNESCO's expertise in the fight against racism and discrimination, particularly through the Coalition of Cities against Racism

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