Democratic People's Republic of Korea
Country Programmes

Leveraging Early Identification and Intervention to Strengthen Policy and Systems Capacity to Advance the Rights of Children with Disabilities

Start DateOngoingEnd Date
21 Sep 201830 Sep 2022
Programme Status
Programme Budget
US$ 200,002
Thematic focus: Access to Health, Awareness Raising, Social Protection

Implementing Partners

UN Agencies


Government Organizations

  • Ministry of Public Health

Organizations of Persons with Disabilities

  • Handicap International
  • Korean Federation for the Protection of the Disabled (KFPD)

The Programme

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is in the midst of a protracted humanitarian situation. The geopolitical environment, however, has meant that the situation for many people in the country has been largely forgotten or overlooked by the rest of the world. The UN represents a critical lifeline for a significant proportion of the population, most significantly young children, pregnant and breastfeeding women and other vulnerable groups, including people with disabilities and those with non-communicable diseases. Food insecurity, malnutrition and a lack of access to basic services including health care, as well as water and sanitation create overlapping needs and deprivations. Among the most vulnerable are children with disabilities, who are prevented from the equal and effective enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms in the ongoing context of tensions.


This action was designed as a UN Country Team response to the most urgent needs of children with disabilities, under the lead of UNICEF and in partnership with Handicap International (HI) and local partner Korean Federation for the Protection of the Disabled (KFPD) for the implementation through the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH). Following a UNPRPD analysis of barriers for people with disabilities, the partners designed a programmatic twin-track approach to both deliver direct benefits to persons with disabilities and indirectly influence the nature of broader systems with which they interact. Therefore the action mainly works around four dimensions:
Improving the health and rehabilitation care service provision for children with disabilities through strengthening the health care system
Enhancing the institutional and technical capacities of health service provider as well as duty bearers (MoPH and KFPD).

Promoting the inclusive health care service/policy for children with disabilities in line with UNCRPD by introducing early identification of childhood disabilities and intervention as an entry point.

Creating awareness among duty bearers, rights holders and community on the rights of children with disabilities and their specific needs.

The project is mainly implemented as a pilot initiative in two county/provincial hospitals and one national children’s hospital in Pyongyang, DPRK, proposed for the period July 2018 – December 2020.

Programme Documents