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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