Currently, conservative estimates indicate that 125 million persons with disabilities live in extreme poverty globally. Disability and inequality are strongly linked, and often there is a vicious cycle of disability and poverty reinforcing each other. These barriers and this loss are felt by persons with disabilities and their families, as well as society and economies more widely.
Addressing the root causes of poverty for persons with disabilities means tackling discrimination and stigma, breaking down barriers in education, employment, health, transportation, communications and a whole range of other areas. Barriers continue to limit the opportunities of persons with disabilities, particularly of women and those from groups that are face multiple discrimination due to their ethnicity, gender, social status and other sources of common biases.
To make sure persons with disabilities are included in development means lifting persons with disabilities out of poverty and breaking this vicious cycle. The international community’s approach to development has recognised this through the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the Sustainable Development Goals.
The Special Rapporteur recognizes a combination of targeted and inclusive measures are needed to improve the socio-economic conditions of persons with disabilities. Guidance on social protection
advises governments and other organizations on how persons with disabilities need to be included in national safety nets. A report on support services for persons with disabilities
shows the range of areas that services need to be made available and accessible.