During armed conflict, children with disabilities are caught in a vicious cycle of violence, social polarization, deteriorating services and deepening poverty. Two key treaties - the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and its Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict - protect the rights of children with disabilities. Although the rights and principles set forth in these Conventions apply in situations of armed conflict, they are all too often eroded by the violence, stress, hunger, social breakdown and poverty that armed conflict brings. Governments around the world have committed themselves to respect, promote, and fulfil the rights of children with disabilities, including in situations of armed conflict, and progress is being made. Yet, as this discussion paper makes clear, much more needs to be done. Investments in disability-inclusive humanitarian action and recovery from crises will pay off, contributing towards a dividend of peace built on greater equality, tolerance and justice.
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