There are more than 7 billion people on earth right now. Maybe you already know this, but ever think about what that means? Well, today is World Population Day, and in observance, BLL is sharing some quick facts.
WPD serves to shed light on the problems and implications that come with a growing global population and emphasizes the effects of overpopulation on development and nature. The increasing population also highlights problems faced by our growing disabled and aging population, making the need for inclusion and accessibility more important than ever (people with disabilities and aging adults make up the largest minority group in the world).
The world’s current population is 7.96 billion, over 1 billion of which the World Health Organization has identified as disabled — that’s about 20% or 2 in every 10 people. This is in part due to the population aging and an increase in the prevalence of chronic diseases. More and more people are affected by disability every year, often the most vulnerable people are most at risk (the WHO currently cites 110 million newly disabled people each year).
Disability inclusion cannot be an afterthought. The United Nations Disability Inclusion Strateg (UNDIS) demands change, and disability must now be ingrained across all programmatic areas of work and core functions of the UN. The accountability framework includes two major components:
(1) Accountability framework focused on four areas: leadership, strategic planning and management; inclusiveness; programming; and organizational culture AND
(2) United Nations country team accountability scorecard on disability inclusion.
The UN’s strategy is to systematically ingrain the rights of persons with disabilities into its work through programming and build trust and confidence among persons with disabilities to ensure that they are valued, dignified, and their rights respected.
Disabled people and the elderly aren’t the only ones affected by accessibility issues, though. We can all at some point be in a disabling situation. How can you drive with a broken leg, or how can you make your way around if you can’t speak the language of the place you’re visiting? Furthermore, aging and disability are interconnected. As you and your loved ones get older, access and inclusion will become more important to your daily life.
This is why accessibility for ALL matters. Livability agendas promote safer, longer, fuller lives for everyone AND for generations to come. World Population Day can be a good reminder that we’re all in this together, and with so many of us here to pitch in, the possibilities are boundless.