One in every six persons in Asia and the Pacific has some form of disability. This amounts to 650 million men, women and children. The number is expected to rise over the next decades due to population ageing, natural disasters, chronic health conditions, road traffic injuries, poor working conditions and other factors. Despite the constant increase in their number, persons with disabilities tend to be unseen, unheard and uncounted. Research shows that in some countries, if persons with disabilities were paid on an equal basis with their peers without disabilities, the GDP of these countries could increase by one to seven per cent. However, they are often excluded from access to education, employment, social protection services and legal support systems, and are subject to disproportionately high rates of poverty. Therefore, they are not able to fully participate as equal members of society and continue to face serious violations of their human rights.