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Inclusion and rights

There are an estimated one billion disabled people worldwide, 80% of whom live in developing countries. Disabled people are commonly the poorest of the poor in society, experiencing social exclusion and discrimination at all levels.


© Johanna de Tessières / HI


Although many people with disabilities have limited access to healthcare, education, employment, transport and leisure activities, their needs are rarely taken into account. Humanity & Inclusion works with people with disabilities, their families, their communities and a range of organizations for a truly inclusive world where people with disabilities have equal opportunities and rights. We work with disabled people to promote inclusion in education, sports and cultural activities, access to employment, and lobbying governments to ensure equal opportunities for people with disabilities.

Disability Rights

At Humanity & Inclusion, we believe that people with disabilities should have equal access to rights, opportunities, and services and be protected from discrimination, abuse, and neglect. Sadly, many of the world’s more than one billion people with disabilities are routinely denied even the most basic human rights.

In many of the poorest countries in the world, where disability is treated as a stigma, people with disabilities can face discrimination in all aspects of life. Shunned by their community and excluded from school, employment, healthcare, and other services due to direct discrimination or a lack of physical accessibility or appropriate resources, people with disabilities often live in extreme poverty and isolation. They are also disproportionately affected by physical and sexual violence.

Since Humanity & Inclusion was founded in 1982, we have been working to promote the rights of disabled people. We actively support Disabled People’s Organizations and other civil society groups around the world to promote the rights of people with disabilities to access quality education, employment, healthcare, and social services.

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Adopted in 2006, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is the first comprehensive human rights treaty of the 21st century. Humanity & Inclusion was directly involved in the process to develop and promote the UN Convention. This international law now provides a framework for all governments and aid organisations to make sure that disabled people’s rights are included in all policies and practices. The Convention entered into force on May 3rd, 2008.

International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Celebrated on December 3rd every year, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and to mobilize support for the dignity, rights, and well-being of persons with disabilities. Each year the day focuses on a different issue.


China, Li Yanquin, 8, suffers from cerebral palsy
© Yan Lei / HI