International Year of Youth - Fact Sheet - Youth with Disabilities

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Throughout the world, youth are dropping out of school and being excluded from the economy. However, young women and men with disabilities commonly face more discrimination and severe social, economic, and civic disparities as compared with those without disabilities, even in developed countries. For many young people with disabilities, exclusion, isolation, and abuse, as well as lack of educational and economic opportunities are daily experiences. Youth with disabilities are amongst the most marginalized and poorest of all the world's youth, whose basic rights are not well met and for whom full societal acceptance is often out of reach. Disparities in education, employment, and relationships are more pronounced in youth with disabilities. Like adults with disabilities, youth with disabilities do not enjoy the same human rights or equal access to goods and services as peers without disabilities. The international community recognized this and after three years of negotiation, the General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in December 2006 to ensure that persons with disabilities, including the youngest ones, enjoy the same human rights as everyone else. Effective implementation of the Convention requires a focused effort by all sectors to guarantee that young people with disabilities participate in mainstreamed as well as in disability specific programs on an equal basis with others.

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