This discussion will examine how the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have helped to move disability inclusion forward for children with disabilities, but will also discuss the areas in which we have fallen behind and strategies for how we might get back on track.
About this resource
In 2015, the UN replaced the Millenium Development Goals with the Sustainable Development Goals, which finally included children with disabilities. This was billed as a major step forward in the battle for disability inclusion. With most of the SDGs targeted to be achieved by 2030, the halfway mark has now been passed. In September 2023, the UN held a summit to mark this milestone. However, the global community are still significantly behind with realising these goals.
These goals call for urgent action by all UN member states to end poverty, reduce inequality and improve access to education. Children with disabilities are already marginalised in society and are 10 times more likely to not go to school. They also experience limited access to health services, which can have knock-on effects on their health going forwards. Able Child Africa is working alongside other organisations to help realise the SDGs for children with disabilities, particularly in terms of gaining access to the services they need, deserve and have a fundamental right to.
The SDGs explicitly include disability and persons with disabilities. Disability is referenced in multiple parts of the SDGs including Goal 4 Education, Goal 10 Inequality, and Goal 11 Accessibility of human settlements. In order to improve the lives of children with disabilities, it is important that countries implement these goals into policies. If these goals are successfully implement into policy, the lives of children with disabilities can be radically improved. Fundamentally, by falling behind the global community is not fulfilling its universal commitment to children with disabilities.