The World Health Organization (WHO) will launch the Report on 3 December 2013, International Day of Persons with Disabilities. A website with life stories of people affected by SCI, and related advocacy and media materials, will accompany the publication of the report, which will be available in English as both the full report and in summary version, with German, French and other language versions to follow. The report has been developed in association with the International Spinal Cord Society (ISCoS), Swiss Paraplegic Research (SPF), and with support from the International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (ISPRM). International Perspectives on Spinal Cord Injury assembles and summarizes the best available scientific evidence on spinal cord injury (SCI) in particular the epidemiology, services, interventions and policies, together with the lived experience of people with SCI across the life course and throughout the world. The Report makes recommendations for actions based on this evidence that are consistent with the aspirations for inclusion and participation as expressed in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. SCI is a medically complex and life-disrupting condition, that has considerable consequences, both for individuals and society. People are left dependent, are excluded from school, and are less likely to be employed. Worst of all, they risk premature death. Access to specialized health care including physical and rehabilitation medicine is the most critical factor in avoiding premature death and secondary conditions and in restoring functional capacity through life long health care management to facilitate full participation and social inclusion.