Disabilities and development: no-one left behind

The 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, adopted on 25 September 2015, is unprecedented in its efforts to be the most inclusive development framework the international community has ever produced.

Persons with disabilities, who represent 15 per cent of the world’s population, have been explicitly included in five out of the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as in seven targets.

Inclusive and equitable quality education

Disability inclusionOf the world’s 1 billion people who live with some form of disability, nearly 93 million are children. For them, this new agenda means that the global community will aim to ensure “inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all,” as stated in goal  4. Including persons with disabilities in these goals and targets takes into account the need to create inclusive learning environments.

Inclusive economic growth

Inclusive job markets, with equal employment opportunities for people with a disability are vital to promote healthy, equitable societies. The need for sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment allowing persons with disabilities to fully access the job market has been reflected in goal 8, while goal  10 emphasizes the social, economic and political inclusion of persons with disabilities.

People with disabilities often find themselves unable to gain access to public goods and services. Goal 11, in particular targets 11.2 and 11.7, focus on the need to create accessible cities and water resources, as well as affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems. Under these targets, local, regional and national coverage are urged to provide universal access to safe, inclusive, accessible and green public spaces.

Collecting disability disaggregated data

Goal 17 underlines the importance of collecting disability disaggregated data, in particular in its target 17.18. It calls upon Governments to support developing countries to increase the availability of high-quality, timely and reliable data that would support and ensure the implementation of the SDGs for persons with disabilities.

The disability-inclusive SDGs infographic prepared by UN DESA’s Division for Social Policy and Development, highlights the extraordinary and unprecedented inclusion of disability and persons with disabilities on a global scale.

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