Leonard Cheshire Disability and Inclusive Development Centre

Type Working Paper - Working Paper Series
Title Leonard Cheshire Disability and Inclusive Development Centre
Issue 25
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2014
URL https://www.ucl.ac.uk/lc-ccr/centrepublications/workingpapers/WP25_Childhood_Disability_and_Poverty.​pdf
As the Convention of the Rights of Children recognizes, children are human
beings with a distinct set of rights, and not the passive objects of care and charity.
They deserve to be full participants in society, and to live lives free of poverty.
But for children, living in poverty is particularly impactful. The foundations for life
are built in childhood. In the early part of our lives, our bodies and brains
develop their capacities to function and interact with the world. We learn the
social skills we need to fit into society, and acquire the human capital necessary
to earn a living, support a family, and to fully take part in the life of our community
Poverty can stunt this development. So can the onset of a disability. As the
World Report on Disability (WHO/World Bank 2011) points out, people with
disabilities are all too often excluded from the economic and social lives of their
community. And the interaction between disability and poverty has the potential
to develop a vicious circle that can greatly limit life opportunities.
This paper reviews the literature on disability, poverty, and what is known about
the prevalence of childhood disability to discuss the potential for disability to
undermine the economic well-being of children throughout their lives. It then uses
the case study of Vietnam, to explore their interrelationship in more depth.

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