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COVID-19 and the rights of persons with disabilities: Guidance

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
April 2020

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This guidance aims to:

  • bring awareness of the pandemic’s impact on persons with disabilities and their rights;
  • draw attention to some promising practices already being undertaken around the world;
  • identify key actions for States and other stakeholders;
  • provide resources for further learning about ensuring rights based COVID-19 responses inclusive of persons with disabilities.

Topics are:

1. What is the impact of COVID-19 on the right to health of persons with disabilities

2. What is the impact of COVID-19 on persons with disabilities who are living in institutions

3. What is the impact of COVID-19 on the rights of persons with disabilities to live in the community

4. What is the impact of COVID-19 on work income and livelihood of persons with disabilities

5. What is the impact of COVID-19 on the right to education of persons with disabilities

6. What is the impact of COVID-19 on the right of persons with disabilities to protections from violence

7. What is the impact of COVID-19 on specific population groups in which persons with disabilities are overrepresented

The case for investment in accessible and inclusive WASH

PRYOR, Wesley
et al
April 2018

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Using current evidence and testimony from more than 60 WASH experts in 30 countries, this technical paper highlights evidence to argue that accessible and inclusive WASH is achievable at low cost, by using universal design, community-driven change, and existing knowledge, expertise and methods. The paper provides starting points to understand the impact of and case for accessible and inclusive WASH.

Gender and disability intersectionality in practice: Women and girls with disabilities addressing discrimination and violence in Africa.

ADAMS, Lisa
et al
March 2018

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This new Making It Work report presents 9 good practices successfully addressing the prevention and response to violence and discrimination against women and girls with disabilities in Africa. It also contains key advocacy recommendations that can be used for disability and/or gender advocates in order to further promote the rights of women and girls with disabilities.

The practices were:

  • Gender-Based Violence prevention through a grassroots initiative led by women with disabilities (Rwanda)
  • Protecting urban refugee women and girls with disabilities from abuse and discrimination in Kenya
  • Advancing the access of deafblind women and girls to Sexual and Reproductive Health (Malawi)
  • Enhancing access to justice for GenderBased Violence survivors with intellectual challenges through integrated legal and psychosocial support service provision (Kenya)
  • Developing knowledge and empowerment through the Gender and Disability Inclusive Development Community of Practice (Cameroon)
  • Promoting a safer, Gender-Based Violence free environment for women and girls with disabilities in Lilongwe, Malawi
  • Restoring the dignity of women and girls with disabilities in the Plateau State of Nigeria
  • Forging a district community where women and girls with disabilities live dignified and empowered lives (Uganda)
  • Emerging Practice: Fostering peace and respect by bringing women and girls with disabilities concerns into a women’s organization (Kenya)

Guidance on disability inclusion for GBV (gender based violence) partners in Lebanon: outreach, safe identification, and referral of women, children and youth with disabilities

WOMEN'S REFUGEE COMMISSION
UNICEF LEBANON
February 2018

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This guidance, and the associated toolkit, are designed to support frontline workers, community volunteers, and mobilizers and their supervisors who are working in GBV prevention and response to foster inclusion of persons with disabilities in their community activities. It includes guidance, key actions and tools to improve accessibility of existing community processes and activities relating to GBV. This resource has been developed based on the findings of a needs assessment conducted in 2017 which confirmed that women, children and youth with disabilities in Lebanon and their caregivers are facing a range of GBV-related risks.

Good practices for the implementation of the CRPD in Indonesia (2015-2017) - Making it Work

HANDICAP INTERNATIONAL
WIDJAYA, Hartaning
2018

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In Indonesia, the Advocacy for Change project aimed to increase the effective participation of people with disabilities in inclusive development efforts at the local level, and promote their participation in development at the national level. Specifically, the Advocacy for Change project sought to improve and monitor the people with disabilities' access to local government processes and existing social services.

Six case studies are presented:

  • Community Based Forum as Community Public Space (The culture is the key)
  • Building the Foundation of Inclusion with Sendangadi Village Government
  • WKCP (Cerebral Palsy Family Association) Health Initiative for Health Budgeting Advocacy
  • Citizen Based Forum as a Common Space to Encourage the Government to Build a Disability-Friendly Village in Mata Air Village, Kupang Tengah Sub- district, Kupang District
  • Inclusion of Disabled Persons in Noelbaki Village Women's Forum 
  • The role of disabled people organization in participation of development with Bappeda Kupang Municipality

 

Being disabled in Britain: a journey less equal

EQUALITY AND HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
April 2017

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"Being disabled in Britain is a review into disability inequality in Great Britain. It builds on the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s statutory five-yearly report on equality and human rights progress in England, Scotland and Wales, Is Britain Fairer?.

We want this report to be used by UK and devolved governments to make improvements to law and policies, by local government to ensure services meet the needs of disabled people, and by disability groups to strengthen their case for change.

The report includes chapters on six areas of life, including education, work, health, justice and participation in politics, looking at where there has been progress and where there are still serious issues to be tackled. It also looks the experiences of those with different impairments and how these impact on people’s life chances"

School Violence and Bullying: Global Status Report

UNESCO
January 2017

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"A 2012 report by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children1 notes that ‘more than one billion children around the world attend school. Many of these children enjoy their right to be taught in a safe and stimulating environment. For many others, however, schooling does not guarantee such opportunity. These girls and boys are exposed to bullying, sexual and gender-based violence, corporal punishment and other forms of violence… Many are also exposed to schoolyard fighting, gang violence, assault with weapons, and sexual and gender-based violence by their own peers. New manifestations of violence are also affecting children’s lives, notably the phenomenon of cyberbullying via mobile phones, computers, websites and social networking sites. The symposium is one of a series of international meetings UNESCO has organised to address school violence and bullying and it is intended to promote evidence-based action by educators, policy makers, professionals and practitioners in the education, health and other sectors. Consequently, this report aims to provide education sector stakeholders with a framework for planning and implementing effective programmes to prevent and respond to school violence and bullying as part of wider efforts to address violence against children." 

Toolkit for understanding and challenging leprosy related stigma for Civil Society Organisations in India

JOY, Anish
et al
2017

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This toolkit is intended primarily for use by CSO's at the community level in India for use with field workers and local governments for challenging stigma and discrimination against people affected by leprosy/disabilities. The toolkit uses simple activities and pictures and is based on a participatory approach which requires active involvement of the group being trained. There are 6 modules:

What is leprosy

What is stigma

How we stigmatise others

How it feels to be stigmatised

Understanding human rights

Action towards inclusion

There are 10 appendices providing supporting information for the toolkit  

Disability, CBR and inclusive development (DCID) - Vol 27, No 4 (2016)

THOMAS, Maya
Ed
2016

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"Disability, CBR and Inclusive Development aim to enhance knowledge in the field of disability, addressing the needs of practitioners in the field (particularly those from developing countries), policy makers, disabled persons’ organizations and the scientific community. The journal encourages publication of information that is evidence-based, to improve current knowledge and programmes implementation, and will be openly and freely accessible to all readers" ”Published four times a year, previously published two times per year
Free

End the cycle

CHRISTOFFEL BLINDENMISSION (CBM) AUSTRALIA
October 2016

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End the Cycle is a community awareness initiative promoting the human rights and empowerment of people with disabilities living in the world’s poorest countries. This website provides background information about the cycle of poverty and disability, highlights personal stories, and provides links to useful publications and related resources. Details are also provided about how to get involved with the initiative

Report of the Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities (theme: the right of persons with disabilities to participate in decision-making)

DEVANDAS-AGUILAR, Catalina
January 2016

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In the preparation of this study, a questionnaire was sent to Member States, national human rights institutions, agencies of the United Nations system, civil society organizations, and persons with disabilities and their representative organisations. As at 22 December 2015, 144 responses were received. The report covers the participation of persons with disabilities in political and public life (right to vote and be elected, right to access public service and right to participate in the conduct of public affairs). The report also covers participation of persons with disabilities in public decision making (importance of effective and meaningful participation, ensuring the participation of representative organisations of persons with disabilities, promoting consultation and the active involvement of persons with disabilities, and key areas for participation). Recommendations are presented.

Hear my voice: old age and disability are not a curse. A community-based participatory study gathering the lived experiences of persons with disabilities and older people in Tanzania

MRISHO, Mwifadhi
FAKIH, Bakar
GREENWOOD, Margo
STEFF, Marion
2016

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Community based participatory research (CBPR) was used to provide evidence on the specific nature and experiences of persons with disabilities and older people from their own perspectives in Tanzania, through the lens of social, political, economic and cultural inclusion. The aim was to strengthen efforts to provide services for and improve the lives of people living in the rural and urban settings of Nachingwea and Kibaha Urban Municipal Council. Twenty-nine peer researchers (nine persons with disabilities, 10 older people and 10 Tanzanian Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) members working in these communities) were involved in the study. A total of 106 stories were collected. Eight priority areas emerged and were chosen by peer researchers for further discussion in groups: access to education and quality learning; access to health services; issues fed back from NGOs; poverty relating to income and dependence; attitudes towards witchcraft and albinism; relationship difficulties and marriage breakdowns; sexual violence and gender issues; poor treatment from family
 

Developing human rights based indicators to support country monitoring of rehabilitation services and programmes for people with disabilities : a study protocol

SKEMPES, Dimitrios
BICKENBACH, Jerome
September 2015

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This paper seeks to develop a study protocol that can assess and improve the provision of rehabilitation services for people with disabilities across the world. The research targets a knowledge gap that exists whereby there are no indicators to reliable identify the performance of rehabilitation systems and monitoring technologies. The paper provides a detailed analysis of the issue before outlining and justifying a choice of methods for data collection and analysis, and the likely impact and use of the study results

BMC International Health and Human Rights, 15:25

The checklist on law and disaster risk reduction : pilot version

UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME (UNDP)
INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF RED CROSS AND RED SCRESCENT SOCIETIES
March 2015

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This “checklist provides a prioritized and succinct list of ten key questions that lawmakers, implementing officials, and those supporting them need to consider in order to ensure that their laws provide the best support for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR). It covers not only dedicated Disaster Risk Management (DRM) laws but also other sectoral laws and regulations that are critical for building safety and resilience, as well as the environment, land and natural resource management” 

Disability inclusive disaster risk reduction

DISABILITY INCLUSIVE DISASTER RISK REDUCTION NETWORK (DIDRRN)
2015

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This newsletter presents articles about disability inclusive disaster risk reduction research, workshops, projects, news, reflections and awareness-raising activities 

DIDRR News, Issue 3

Human Rights

www.macao-tz.org
December 2014

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Malezi AIDS Care Awareness Organization (MACAO) is a non-profit organization reaching out to neglected Indigenous people in Ngorongoro District, Arusha Region of Northern Tanzania.  Macao founded in 2003, Macao is a humanitarian organization that provides assistance to approximately 200,000 Indigenous Maasai community in Ngorongoro district for addressing needs of water and sanitation, food security, health Care Research, Education, Research environment, Maasai Traditional Research, Human Rights and sustainable economic development by strengthening their livelihoods.  In addition to responding to major relief situations, MACAO focuses on long-term community development through over 4 Area Development Project. We welcome the donors and volunteers to join us in this programs, we are wolking in ruro villages.

Thematic study on the right of persons with disabilities to live independently and be included in the community : Report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

OFFICE OF THE UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS (UN OHCHR)
December 2014

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"The present study, developed under Human Rights Council resolution 25/20, is focused on the right to live independently and be included in the community, and the enjoyment, protection and promotion of that right as a substantive means for the realization of other rights, as a condition for avoiding institutionalization and segregation in health and social settings, and as a prerequisite to provide for the full development of the capabilities of persons with disabilities and their meaningful participation in, and contribution to, society"

Through our eyes

HANDICAP INTERNATIONAL
November 2014

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This video was made with children from Rwanda, Burundi and Kenya in 2014, in the context of a child participation activity within the “Ubuntu Care project: confronting sexual violence against children with disabilities in Rwanda, Burundi and Kenya”, implemented by the NGO Handicap International and its partners. The initiative brought disabled children together to start discussing their experiences and the cameras became an outlet for the children and members of the community to share their stories and raise awareness about important issues about confronting sexual violence against children with disabilities

Note: dialogue is in French with an option for English subtitles

Refugees with disabilities : increasing inclusion, building community : a discussion tool on improving access and inclusion for displaced persons with disabilities

WOMEN’S REFUGEE COMMISSION
2014

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This presentation is a “tool for raising awareness among community workers, volunteers and displaced people about increasing access and inclusion for persons with disabilities in refugee and displacement contexts. It can be used by staff of organisations working with refugees and displaced persons, as well as community leaders and disability associations conducting sensitisation with the wider refugee community. The tool illustrates common barriers experienced by persons with disabilities in displacement contexts, as well as positive practices or approaches to promote inclusion. Suggested questions provide a guide for facilitators of the discussion, but should be adapted according to the context and audience. The tool is intended to facilitate conversation about concerns and ideas for change at field levels, but is not a comprehensive catalogue of either barriers or solutions in these contexts”

UNHCR mental health and psychosocial support for persons of concern

MEYER, Sarah
2013

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"This evaluation reports on how well the United Nations High Commission for Refugees considers and provides for the well-being and mental health of persons of concern to the agency. Through a survey of UNHCR field staff, extensive literature and policy review, and key informant interviews with MHPSS experts from academic institutions, international agencies and non-governmental organizations, this review provides insight into how UNHCR’s current activities contribute towards improved mental health and psychosocial well-being of displaced persons and how UNHCR’s current policy frameworks relate to established practices and frameworks in the MHPSS field"

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