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Disabled people are among the poorest and most socially excluded people in the world

3 December 2013

Letter published in The Times from Bond Disability and Development Group 

Dear Sir

Disabled people are among the poorest and most socially excluded people in the world and on today's International Day for Persons with Disabilities, we are calling on the UK Government to make sure that their rights are not forgotten in international development work.

The current Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which end in 2015 make no reference to the rights of disabled people and disability is not mentioned in the supporting indicators. Governments around the world must not repeat this critical mistake when considering what will follow on from the MDGs.

There are over one billion disabled people in the world of which, an estimated 150 million are children – 80% living in developing countries. Disabled people rarely have equal access to basic goods and services and their rights are regularly denied which affects their economic, social and political progression and that of their families.

The Bond Disability and Development Group brings together over 40 UK-based international NGO's with a mission to ensure that the rights of disabled people are included in all international development policies and interventions.

We urge the Government and party leaders to recognise that in the post 2015 sustainable development goals, the rights of disabled people must be recognised to build diverse, prosperous and inclusive societies.

Yours faithfully,

James Thornberry, Director, Sense International
Tim Wainwright, Chief Executive, ADD International
Tiziana Oliva, International Director, Leonard Cheshire Disability
Aaron Oxley, Executive Director, RESULTS UK
Aleema Shivji, Director, Handicap International UK
Andrew Betts, Director, Advantage Africa
Peter Walker, Director, The Leprosy Mission England and Wales
Barbara Frost, Chief Executive, WaterAid
Jane Anthony, Director, AbleChildAfrica


First published: Tuesday 18 June 2013
Last updated: Friday 6 December 2019