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reliefweb - 2 month ago

World: Inclusion of persons with disabilities in humanitarian action - 39 examples of field practices, and learnings from 20 countries, for all phases of humanitarian response

Source: Handicap International - Humanity Inclusion Country: World
Introduction More than one billion people, approximately 15% of the global population, are persons with disabilities.  In crisis-affected communities, persons with disabilities continue to be among the most marginalized. 80% live in poverty,  and an estimated 10.3 million are forcibly displaced as a result of persecution, conflict and human-rights violations.  In some cases, morbidity rates of persons with disabilities in disasters have been estimated to be two to four times higher than that of persons without disabilities,  as are rates of sexual violence and abuse against women and girls with disabilities.  The humanitarian response is often not inclusive of persons with disabilities, which results in exclusion from aid.  Since 2008, when the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) entered into force, the humanitarian community started shifting their understanding of disability from a charity and medical approach to a rights-based and participatory approach. The willingness to include persons with disabilities in humanitarian policies and frameworks accelerated. Today, the CRPD together with the International Humanitarian Law  and other legal frameworks applicable to humanitarian settings, requires all humanitarian assistance and protection efforts to be inclusive of persons with disabilities both in the occurrence of man-made and natural disasters. Persons with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, psychosocial, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.  Organizations of persons with disabilities (OPDs) are organizations that are led, directed and governed by persons with disabilities. A clear majority of their membership is recruited among persons with disabilities themselves. They are rooted, committed to and fully respect the principles and rights recognized in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).  CRPD, Article 11 – Situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies: “States Parties shall take, in accordance with their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law, all necessary measures to ensure the protection and safety of persons with disabilities in situations of risk, including situations of armed conflict, humanitarian emergencies and the occurrence of natural disasters.” The 2016 World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) represented a turning point in directing the international community’s attention to the fact that persons with disabilities too often fall through the cracks of humanitarian response.  The Charter on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action,  launched on that occasion, gathered the interest of a broad range of humanitarian stakeholders who joined forces “to take all steps to meet the essential needs and promote the protection, safety and respect for the dignity of persons with disabilities in situations of risk.” The Charter states that “progress towards principled and effective humanitarian action will only be realized if humanitarian preparedness and response becomes inclusive of persons with disabilities.” This inclusive approach is grounded on the humanitarian principles of humanity and impartiality, and the human-rights principles of inherent dignity, equality and non-discrimination.
In line with the commitments taken at the WHS and by endorsing the Charter, the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) established a Task Team co-chaired by UNICEF, the International Disability Alliance (IDA), and Humanity Inclusion (HI), to develop Guidelines on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action. The Guidelines, designed for use by national, regional and international humanitarian actors, set out essential actions to take in order to effectively identify and respond to the needs and rights of persons with disabilities who are most at risk of being left behind in humanitarian settings. Published at the same time as the IASC Guidelines, this report aims to support their uptake and promote learning by example. This report presents 39 short case studies on inclusive practices for persons with disabilities in humanitarian action and disaster risk reduction (DRR). It is designed for humanitarian stakeholders with limited experience of working with and for persons with disabilities, as well as for organizations of persons with disabilities (OPDs) planning to engage in humanitarian action and DRR. The report draws lessons from field practices, but does not provide technical guidance. The IASC Guidelines are the reference document to seek in-depth theoretical and technical information .


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