Table 6: Children’s Health and the Rights of Children with Disabilities

Examples of Human Rights Violations

  • Limitations in access to education and health care services for children with disabilities.
  • Lack of a comprehensive government policy for children with disabilities that considers their overall development needs, including the right to health.
  • Discrimination and stigmatization of children with disabilities.
  • Limited availability of special education teachers, or lack of training of mainstream teachers.
Human Rights Standards Treaty Body Interpretation
CRC 23(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.

(2): States Parties recognize the right of the disabled child to special care and shall encourage and ensure the extension, subject to available resources, to the eligible child and those responsible for his or her care, of assistance for which application is made and which is appropriate to the child’s condition and to the circumstances of the parents or others caring for the child.

(3): Recognizing the special needs of a disabled child, assistance extended in accordance with paragraph 2 of the present article shall be provided free of charge, whenever possible, taking into account the financial resources of the parents or others caring for the child, and shall be designed to ensure that the disabled child has effective access to and receives education, training, health care services, rehabilitation services, preparation for employment and recreation opportunities in a manner conducive to the child’s achieving the fullest possible social integration and individual development, including his or her cultural and spiritual development.


CESCR General Comment 14(22): Children with disabilities should be given the opportunity to enjoy a fulfilling and decent life and to participate within their community.

CRC Committee: Recommending that Bhutan adopt an inclusive education strategy and elaborate a plan of action in order to increase the school attendance of children with special needs and focus on day-care services for these children in order to prevent their institutionalization; and ensure that all children with special needs receive the appropriate care. CRC/C/SR.1369 (CRC, 2008), para. 51.

CRC Committee: Regretting the lack of a comprehensive government policy for children with disabilities in the United Kingdom CRC/C/GBR/CO/4 (CRC, 2008), para. 52; Georgia CRC/C/GEO/CO/3 (CRC, 2008), para. 42; and Costa Rica CRC/C/CRI/CO/4 (CRC, 2011), para. 55.

CRC Committee: Expressing concern about barriers to and the quality of education for children with disabilities in Algeria CRC/C/DZA/CO/3-4 (CRC, 2012), para. 55; Argentina CRC/C/ARG/CO/3-4 (CRC, 2010), para. 50; Bulgaria CRC/C/BGR/CO/2 (CRC, 2008), para. 43; Burkina Faso CRC/C/BFA/CO/3-4 (CRC, 2010), para. 52; Burundi. CRC/C/BDI/CO/2 (CRC, 2010) para. 50; Korea CRC/C/KOR/CO/3-4 (CRC, 2012), para. 51; Madagascar CRC/C/MDG/CO/3-4 (CRC, 2012), para. 47; Serbia CRC/C/SRB/CO/1 (CRC, 2008), para. 48. 

CRC Committee: Expressing concern about barriers to and the quality of health care for children with disabilities in Bulgaria CRC/C/BGR/CO/2 (CRC, 2008), para. 43; and Madagascar CRC/C/MDG/CO/3-4 (CRC, 2012), para. 47.

CRC Committee: Concerned with the non-universal health care insurance for children with disabilities in Egypt CRC/C/EGY/CO/3-4 (CRC, 2011), para. 60; and Argentina CRC/C/ARG/CO/3-4 (CRC, 2010), para. 50.

CRC Committee: Remaining concerned at the reported treatment of children with disabilities in some social care institutions in Serbia, in which severe and long-term forms of restraint and seclusion have reportedly taken place, and it is concerned that such practices could amount to ill-treatment or even torture. CRC/C/SRB/CO/1 (CRC, 2008), para. 35.