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Protecting children with disabilities

Access to community based child protection mechanisms for children with disabilities.

Violence is both a key risk factor for, and consequence of, social exclusion and vulnerability. Marginalised children may be particularly vulnerable to experiencing violence, and amongst these, children with disabilities are a key group. Globally, 150 million children are estimated to be living with a disability, most of whom live in low and middle-income countries (WHO, 2011).

Children with disabilities are often amongst the most socially excluded and vulnerable. For instance, a recent study conducted by this research group analysed Plan International’s 2012 sponsorship data across 30 countries and showed that sponsored children with disabilities were on average 10 times less likely to be going to school than sponsored children without disabilities and were more likely to have reported a serious illness in the last 12 months (Kuper, 2014). Read more about it here.

Plan International has commissioned us to conduct research to:

  • assess to what extent children with disabilities are included in community-based child protection mechanisms
  • identify the barriers and enablers to inclusion within these mechanisms
  • make practical recommendations to Plan International, governments and other key stakeholders for more inclusive practice

We are gathering information to address these questions through a combination of:

  • Desk based research
  • Quantitative research (in Uganda)
  • Qualitative research (in Uganda and Malawi)

We will then consolidate our research findings and develop recommendations together with key representatives from Plan International.

Who we are

Principal Investigator: Dr Karen Devries (LSHTM)
Co-PI: Dr Hannah Kuper (LSHTM)
Research Assistants: Morgon Banks (LSHTM), Sue Kelly (LSHTM)
Co-investigator and lead qualitative researcher: Dr Nambusi Kyegombe (LSHTM, MRC/UVRI)
Plan International, Plan International MalawiPlan International UgandaPlan International NorwayPlan International FinlandPlan International UK.

Major donors

Plan International Norway, Plan International Finland, Plan International UK


Protect us!
Child Protection Policy – Plan International
Violence against children and disability
Violence against children with disabilities
Include Us in Education!” Study. Available Now. – LSHTM International Centre for Evidence in Disability