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Publication date:2 December 2015

Violence against children with disabilities: legislation, policies and programmes in the EU

Children with disabilities face significant barriers to enjoying their fundamental rights. They are often excluded from society, sometimes living in facilities far from their families. They are also denied access to basic services, such as health care and education, and endure stigma and discrimination, as well as sexual, physical and psychological violence. FRA scrutinised the important but underreported issue of violence against children with disabilities, carrying out desk research and conducting interviews with knowledgeable stakeholders. This report presents the results of that research.


This project will look at hostility, including violence, towards children with disabilities across the EU. It seeks to identify the legal and policy framework, as well as determine how information about such hostility is being collected. In addition, the project will look for examples of promising practices of how some Member States are addressing the problem.


The findings of FRA’s first disability project revealed that violence and harassment are some of the main barriers for people for disabilities to integrate into society. The results also pointed to underreporting of abuse, lack of support and poor awareness among victims with disabilities. The lack of evidence on targeted hostility towards people with disabilities, specifically children, led FRA to begin work on this issue. The results should provide a clearer picture of what evidence exists to help EU Institutions and Member States take relevant measures to improve the situation.


The project will carry out desk research of the existing situation in all 28 Member States. In addition to the desk research, FRA’s data collection is complemented by a fieldwork component which covers 13 EU countries: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Slovenia, and the United Kingdom. The fieldwork consists of 10 face-to-face semi-structured interviews with selected government and civil society oganisations.


Publication date: 28 May 2014

Children with disabilities: targeted violence and hostility (206.58 KB)