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November 12, 1997

The World in Medicine

JAMA. 1997;278(18):1482. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550180030014

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Focus on Disabled Children  The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child will begin 1998 by developing an action plan to reform laws that result in maltreatment and isolation for the world's 140 million disabled children.During a planning meeting last month in Geneva, Switzerland, the committee noted that 1 of every 10 children has some type of physical, mental, sensory, intellectual, or psychological disability caused by preventable disease, malnutrition, unintentional injury, armed conflict, or land mines. What's more, the committee observed, only 1% of the 300 million disabled children and adults who live in developing nations ever receive rehabilitation or other services that could help them lead healthier, more independent lives.But the denial of rights and acts of physical and sexual abuse directed toward disabled children are not restricted to poor nations. In many parts of the world, said a representative of the United Nations Children's

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