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The UN estimates that about’10% of the world's population or 700 million people live with a disability… They are the world's largest minority’.


The UNDP reports that 80% of persons with disabilities live in developing countries.  


  • The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reports that “On average, 19% of less educated people have disabilities, compared to 11% among the better educated”


  • The World Bank estimates that 20% of the world's poorest people have some kind of disability.


  • Research indicates that violence against children with disabilities occurs at annual rates at least 1.7 times greater than for their peers without disabilities.


  •  Women and girls with disabilities are particularly vulnerable to abuse. A small 2004 survey in Orissa, India, found that virtually all of the women and girls with disabilities were beaten at home, 25% of women with intellectual disabilities had been raped and 6% of women with disabilities had been forcibly sterilized.


  •  A 2004 United States survey found that only 35% of working-age persons with disabilities are in fact working compared to 78% of those without disabilities. Two-thirds of the unemployed respondents with disabilities said they would like to work but could not find jobs.


  • At ASHA, we believe that disabled people have human rights which they are entitled to enjoy on an equal basis with non-disabled people. We recognise that PWDs face a wide range of barriers to realizing their human rights in reality. 

How we help:



   ASHA is committed to working towards the equality of PWDs. ASHA seeks to remedy institutional and systemic failings by advocating the rights of PWDs locally and nationally in its countries of operation.

In particular:


   ASHA joins forces with other disability right movements to influence policy and legislation, through awareness raising campaigns, workshops and conferences to sensitise government, organisations, and individuals about the provisions of the UN Convention on the rights of PWDs and to deter, remedy and prevent all forms of discrimination on the basis of disability;


    ASHA continues to work with other like-minded NGOs, Charities and all tiers of government to ensure that policies, legislation and measures that guarantee the promotion and full realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all persons with disabilities without discrimination is not only on paper but also put in action;


    ASHA will generate and publish data to monitor progress and recognise pacesetters in the area of upholding PWDs rights; 


    ASHA will work with all levels of governments to develop policy, implement strategies intended and expected to not only tackle but also to remove barriers and guarantee and protect the human rights of disabled people in all areas including health, education, employment, access to justice, personal security, independent living and access to information in particular the provision of 1% employment quota for PWDs (#one%).


PWD include those who have: Long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which, in interaction with various barriers, may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.

ASHA echoes the spirit and provisions of the UN Convention of the rights of PWD- which is to “promote, protect and ensure the full enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities”.


ASHA advocates that PWDs must be active participants, stakeholders and collaborators in all issues, policy and legislation formulation relating to promoting their human rights and access to services. To this end ASHA works closely with them to fulfil their UN Obligation.


ASHA works to specifically empower PWDs to start their own business, acquire skills or achieve vocational or secular qualification through its poverty alleviation and microfinance initiative.


This approach is backed by research evidence which has found that thousands of persons with disabilities have been successful as small business owners (U.S. Department of Labor). The 1990 national census revealed that persons with disabilities have a higher rate of self-employment and small business experience (12.2%) than persons without disabilities (7.8%) - UN.

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