Disabled child begging in the street, Source Tropenmuseum part of the National Museum of World Cultures, Author H.W. (Henk) van Rinsum (Photographer), (CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported)
WARNING: Graphic Images
There are nearly 240 million children with mental or physical disabilities worldwide .
Across the globe, the majority of these children have meager access to clean water and sanitation; adequate nutrition; and necessary healthcare, including immunization.
- 53% are likely to suffer from acute respiratory infections, the leading cause of death in children under five .
- 42% are likely to be “wasted” which is to say emaciated, with muscle mass far below normal.
- 34% are likely to be stunted in growth.
Disabled children are often denied education.
- 49% are likely never to have attended school.
- 42% are likely to lack basic reading and arithmetic skills.
Children with disabilities are at higher risk of abuse (including sexual abuse) and neglect . In the United States, that risk is 300% higher than for children without disabilities .
Children with disabilities rely more heavily on caregivers and are, consequently, more vulnerable.
- 32% are likely to experience severe corporal punishment when parents develop frustration with their behavior or limitations.
Perhaps most urgently, these children are subject to violence and exploitation.
The BBC recently reported that disabled children — trafficked from Tanzania (some with severed limbs) — are being forced to beg in nearby Kenya . Children may, also, be deliberately mutilated and sold to beggar gangs, as depicted in the 2008 film Slumdog Millionaire .
All this should leave us not only speechless, but outraged. No doubt God is. We may be tempted to wonder why He does not intervene. The answer, of course, is that He put us here for that very purpose (Eph. 2: 10).
These children may face life lame or otherwise disabled. They may be even be maimed by others. But those who harm them will face eternal retribution.
“It is better for you to enter into life lame or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire” (Matt. 18: 8).
 UNICEF, “Press Release”, 11/9/21, https://www.unicef.org/press-releases/nearly-240-million-children-disabilities-around-world-unicefs-most-comprehensive.
 Latin American Federation of the Pharmaceutical Industry (FIFARMA), “Acute respiratory infections (ARI): among the leading causes of death in the world”, https://fifarma.org/en/acute-respiratory-infections-ari-among-the-leading-causes-of-death-in-the-world/.
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Childhood Maltreatment among Children with Disabilities”, 9/18/19, https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/disabilityandsafety/abuse.html.
 Child, “The abuse of disabled children: a review of the literature” by Helen Westcott, July 1991, https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2214.1991.tb00695.x.
 Children’s Bureau, Child Welfare Information Gateway, “The Risk and Prevention of Maltreatment of Children with Disabilities”, https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubpdfs/focus.pdf.
 BBC, “Forced to Beg: Tanzania’s Trafficked Kids” by Njeri Mwang, 6/27/22, https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-africa-61932993.
 Global Human Rights Defence (GHRD), “Abuse and Exploitation Cycles: The Beggar Mafia in Pakistan” by Omar Bhatti, 3/9/22, https://ghrd.org/abuse-and-exploitation-cycles-the-beggar-mafia-in-pakistan/.
 OpIndia, “‘Rats of Shah Dola: How hundreds of children in the Islamic State of Pakistan are forcefully deformed and exploited as beggars”, 6/16/20, https://www.opindia.com/2020/06/rats-of-shah-dola-pakistan-exploitation-children-deformed-forced-to-beg/.
 Wikipedia, “Slumdog Millionaire”, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slumdog_Millionaire.
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20 responses to “Trafficking, Abuse, and the Disabled”
So much pain and suffering. So much injustice.
Yes, it is heartbreaking.
I have a severely disabled grandson. He was born with a very rare genetic deletion. He could not survive without a care giver. In his early twenties now, cognitively he is only about a year and a half old. I can’t imagine him being treated this way.
I am sure your grandson knows that he is loved, Linda. Sadly, so many of these children are not.
Sobering and heartbreaking to say the least Anna. The injustices perpetrated against the most vulnerable among us leave me shaking my head at the sheer lack of basic compassion for them.
I understand that justice will be served one day, for it is certain that an accounting will be given by all. Your post points to the greatest tragedy of all, that “God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life”……….yet mankind has proven to love darkness more than this eternal light.
If we needed proof, surely this is it.
The only thing that in any way relieves the pain of all this is the Cross.
You are so right, Allan.
LORD, show your mercy to the neglected, abused, abandoned, and trafficked people. Break our hearts and fill us with compassion to act. In the grand scheme of life, help us do the part you have purposed for us to do. In the name of Jesus. Amen.
I join in that prayer, Manette. ❤
Anna, This makes me so sad to think this is going on around the world in such high volume. Jesus will make it right one day. Until then, we need to do our part. Thank you for bringing it to our attention, even though it’s hard to read and comprehend the suffering.
Thank you for your compassion, Mary, and for reading. This topic was as difficult for me to address as any I have ever come across. Yet we cannot ignore these children. To do so would be to abandon them to their fate.
You are right, Anna….it would.
Es ist wirklich herzzerreißend, was manche Kinder und junge Erwachsene erdulden müssen. Man muss alles tun, damit man die Hilferufe welcher Art auch immer versteht und dann handelt. Liebe Grüße, Marie
Ich hätte es nicht besser sagen können, Marie. Das ist keine leichte Aufgabe. Aber diese Kinder brauchen, dass wir uns für sie aussprechen … und für sie beten. Liebe Grüße, Anna
Es ist wirklich schrecklich, was manche ertragen müssen. LG Marie
So wahr, Marie.
Heartbreaking! Simply heartbreaking. Come, Lord Jesus, quickly into these situations and extend your help.
That is my prayer, as well.
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