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Security Council unanimously adopts resolution 2475 (2019), Ground-breaking text on protection of persons with disabilities in conflict

UNITED NATIONS
October 2019

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The Security Council adopted its first-ever resolution calling upon Member States and parties to armed conflict to protect persons with disabilities in conflict situations and to ensure they have access to justice, basic services and unimpeded humanitarian assistance.

By the terms of resolution 2475 (2019), the 15-member Council called upon all parties to armed conflict to allow and facilitate safe, timely and unimpeded humanitarian access to all people in need of assistance.  It further urged them to prevent violence and abuses against civilians in situations of armed conflict, including those involving in killing and maiming, abduction and torture, as well as rape and other forms of sexual violence in conflict and post-conflict situations.

Protection of civilians in armed conflict (S/2019/373) [EN/AR/RU]

UNHCR SECRETARY GENERAL
May 2019

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The present report is submitted pursuant to the request contained in the statement by the President of the Security Council of 21 September 2018 (S/PRST/2018/18). It also responds to the Council’s requests for reporting on the protection of medical care and on conflict and food insecurity, contained in resolutions 2286 (2016) and 2417 (2018), respectively. Section II provides a summary of achievements and challenges to the United Nations work on protecting civilians over the past 20 years. Section III reviews the current state of the protection of civilians and emphasizes the enduring relevance of the protection agenda 20 years on. Section IV focuses on the central challenge of enhancing respect for the law – the first of three protection priorities identified in the report of 2017 (S/2017/414) and discussed in the report of 2018 (S/2018/462) – with a particular focus on the conduct of hostilities. Section V discusses how the Council and Member States can rise to meet this challenge and, moreover, strengthen the practical impact of the protection agenda in the years ahead.

Geneva Academy briefing on Disability and armed conflict 2019

PRIDDY, Alice
April 2019

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This publication brings attention to the devastating impact conflict has on persons with disabilities and, crucially, highlights that many of the key international humanitarian law (IHL) provisions that serve to minimize the impact of armed conflict – such as the proportionality assessment and advanced effective warnings – are not being applied in a disability inclusive manner, resulting in persons with disabilities being killed, seriously injured or left behind as families flee armed attacks.

 

Research methods included a combination of: desk research; structured interviews with persons with disabilities and their representative organizations, NGOs and humanitarian personnel; and field workshops through which feedback was sought on discrete issues. 

 

The project focused on the situation of persons with disabilities in five states experiencing different levels of armed conflict or its aftermath (the DRC, Colombia, Palestine, Ukraine and Vietnam). These states were selected because they are all States Parties to the CRPD, and they represent a diverse range of regions and cultures, differing types of conflicts (including the involvement of ANSAs), different stages of conflict or post-conflict situations, differing levels of economic development and varying levels of international assistance

Responding to the humanitarian needs of today, Preparing for the Syrian response tomorrow

HUMANITY & INCLUSION (HI)
February 2019

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A briefing paper concerning refugees and displaced people in Syria.

 

Recommendations are made covering 

Individual issues briefs are available for some of these 

HelpAge training portal

HELPAGE INTERNATIONAL
2019

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This digital learning platform was established for the purpose of remote humanitarian response for hard to reach areas. HelpAge International is utilizing expertise to train international and national organizations, government agencies, and the private sector on Age Inclusive Interventions.

These series of trainings on 'Helping Older People in Emergencies (HOPE)' is designed to strengthen the capacity of humanitarian actors to ensure that their humanitarian action is evidence-based and responds to the distinct needs and priorities of crisis-affected to older men, women, and other vulnerable groups.

 

Modules available are:

1. Age & its interaction with vulnerabilities in humanitarian crises

2. Inclusion of older people in emergency needs assessments & SADDD

3. Health, home-based & community-based care in humanitarian crises

4. Protection of older people in humanitarian crises

5. Food security & livelihoods interventions for older people in humanitarian crises

The waiting list. Addressing the immediate and long-term needs of victims of explosive weapons in Syria

O'REILLY, Claire
et al
2019

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This report looks at the challenges linked to the use of explosive weapons in the Syrian context for the provision of adequate immediate assistance and to plan for mid- to long-term assistance to the victims of explosive violence, to ensure their full recovery and inclusion into society. It is based on data and testimonies collected from humanitarian agencies, actors and patients across all areas of control in Syria. The testimony of Farah, a Syrian girl injured during the bombing of her school, and of her mother, is shared throughout the report to illustrate the challenges faced by victims. 

This report was compiled from June to August 2019 and relies on multiple sources, including review of both gray and academic literature, published and unpublished data from INGOs working in Syria response, firsthand interviews with patients and Syrian humanitarians working both inside Syria and from cross-border locations, and expatriate staff from INGOs and UN agencies. Interviews were conducted at a distance during June and July 2019 with 12 individuals, among which: 2 patients; 3 mine action operators; 4 medical staff, and 3 humanitarian workers 

Landmine Monitor 2018

INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN TO BAN LANDMINES – CLUSTER MUNITION COALITION (ICBL-CMC)
November 2018

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Landmine Monitor 2018 provides a global overview of the landmine situation. Chapters on developments in specific countries and other areas are available in online Country Profiles. Landmine Monitor covers mine ban policy, use, production, trade, and stockpiling, and also includes information on contamination, clearance, casualties, victim assistance, and support for mine action. The report focuses on calendar year 2017, with information included up to November 2018 when possible.

 

The Victim Assistance section covers: assessing the needs; frameworks for assistance; enhancing plans and policies; inclusion and active participation of mine victims; availability of and accessibility to services; guaranteeing rights in an age- and gender-sensitive manner; national legal frameworks and broader frames for assistance.

 

Children with disabilities in situations of armed conflict - a discussion paper

THOMAS, Edward
et al
November 2018

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During armed conflict, children with disabilities are caught in a vicious cycle of violence, social polarization, deteriorating services and deepening poverty. Global estimates suggest there are between 93 million and 150 million children with disabilities under the age of 15.Given that disability is often not reported due to stigma there is reason to believe actual prevalence could be much higher. Although efforts to ensure the fulfilment of their rights have improved, girls and boys with disabilities continue to remain among the most marginalized and excluded segment of the population. This is amplified during situations of armed conflict. The barriers to full participation they face on a day-to-day basis are intensified and compounded when infrastructure is destroyed, and services and systems are compromised and made inaccessible. This results in the further exclusion and marginalization of children with disabilities, and prevents them from accessing schooling, health and psychosocial support, or a means of escape from conflict.

 

When systems and services break down, children are also left more susceptible to violence. Injuries sustained by many children during armed conflict may also lead to long-term impairments. There are six grave violations of children’s rights and protection in armed conflict that are on the agenda of the United Nations (UN) Security Council; killing and maiming, recruitment and use of children, rape or other sexual violence, abduction, attacks on schools or hospitals, and denial of humanitarian access. Governments around the world have committed themselves to respect, promote, and fulfil the rights of children with disabilities, including in situations of armed conflict, and progress is being made. Efforts by a broad range of actors to implement the CRPD, CRC and other human rights instruments include the development of standards to address the rights and needs of persons with disabilities in humanitarian crises, and guidance on making humanitarian response, development and peacebuilding more inclusive. Efforts to improve the collection and use of data concerning children and adults with disabilities are also underway. Yet, as this discussion paper makes clear, much more needs to be done. Investments in disability-inclusive humanitarian action and recovery from crises will pay off, contributing towards a dividend of peace built on greater equality, tolerance and justice. 

Shaping health systems to include people with disabilities. K4D emerging issues report

DEAN, Laura
et al
November 2018

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People with disabilities are at a heightened risk of communicable and non-communicable diseases and these diseases can cause debility and disability. Health needs of these people often extend beyond requiring continual longterm medical support to addressing broader social inequities. Key areas that are likely to be critical in re-orientating health systems from a biomedical approach towards inclusive health systems that are more responsive to the needs of people with debility and disability in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) are offered in this report and cover the following:

 

  • 1. Nothing about us without us: prioritising person-centred health systems
  • 2. Responding to issues of access in mainstreaming disability within health systems
  • 3. Ensuring the provision of specialised services
  • 4. Community based rehabilitation 
  • 5. Improving the collection and use of disability related data against modified legal and policy frameworks
  • 6. Partnerships are paramount
  • 7. Financing and social protection 

Case studies are provided from Sudan, India, Liberia, Uganda and Nigeria

Global Disability Summit 2018 - Summary of commitments

August 2018

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The key objective of the Global Disability Summit was to deliver ambitious new global and national level commitments on disability inclusion. National governments and other organisations made 170 sets of commitments around the four central themes of the Summit (ensuring dignity and respect for all, inclusive education, routes to economic empowerment and harnessing technology and innovation), as well as the two cross-cutting themes (women and girls with disabilities and conflict and humanitarian contexts), and data disaggregation.

 

Commitments made can be viewed in full on: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/global-disability-summit-commitments

 

Missing millions: How older people with disabilities are excluded from humanitarian response

SHEPPARD, Phillip
POLACK, Sarah
McGIVERN, Madeleine
July 2018

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The aim of this study was to explore the experiences of older people with disabilities across a range of humanitarian settings, considering:

  • whether older people with disabilities have additional needs and challenges accessing humanitarian assistance and protection
  • what factors facilitate or limit access by older people with disabilities to humanitarian assistance and protection
  • to what extent is humanitarian response inclusive of older people with disabilities

A systematic literature review of published studies was conducted. Key online humanitarian guidelines were explored to review how far they explicitly address older people with disabilities. Data from six population-based disability surveys comparing the living situation of older people with and without disabilities were analysed. These included databases from two crises-affected populations in Haiti (post-earthquake) and Palestine. Data from four non-humanitarian settings was also reviewed to explore more broadly the situation for older people with disabilities – India, Guatemala, Cameroon and Nepal. Interviews were held with older people with disabilities, members of their families and local key informants in two conflict-affected populations in Ndutu and Mtendeli refugee camps in Western Tanzania, and Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Eastern Ukraine to find out about their experiences. Staff of five international agencies working in humanitarian response were also interviewed. 

 

Findings highlight particular issues facing older people with disabilities in humanitarian crises: more risk escaping from danger;  barriers to accessing social protection and work; barriers to accessing health and rehabilitation services; barriers to accessing food and other essentials; unsuitable housing and poor living conditions;  insecurity and discrimination; threats to dignity and independence; social isolation and loneliness; risks to mental health; and missing from humanitarian response.

 

A table brings together the findings from the different components of the research to show the needs, risks, barriers and enablers for older people with disabilities identified in the research. Recommendations are provided to humanitarian donors, policy makers and practitioners

Explosive hazards: another fear for the population in Mosul. Factsheet July 2018.

HUMANITY & INCLUSION (HI)
July 2018

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This paper draws on data gathered by Handicap International (HI) on explosive hazard incidents and related casualties that happened after Mosul was retaken, and demonstrates the dire need for scaling-up humanitarian mine action, specifically risk education, technical and non-technical survey, hazard marking, clearance, and victim assistance activities in Iraq

Disability in humanitarian context: A case study from Iraq

HUMANITY & INCLUSION (HI)
June 2018

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This brief presents and addresses some of the challenges that prevent internally displaced persons with disabilities and other vulnerable population groups (elderly, injured persons, pregnant women, etc.) in camp settings from accessing humanitarian services in Iraq and impede on the development of an inclusive humanitarian response. Examples drawn from Handicap International’s experience working in Iraq with persons with disabilities and vulnerable population groups further illustrate those challenges. The recommendations to the humanitarian community provided in this brief aim at improving the protection of persons with disabilities and their inclusion in the humanitarian response

Psychosocial disability in the Middle East

BOLTON. Laura
May 2018

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A K4 helpdesk report, commissioned by DFID (UK), provides a rapid review of literature to provide best estimates of psychosocial disability in specific countries in the Middle East.

Topics discussed include:

Prevalence and different forms of mental health conditions and psychosocial disability

Factors influencing prevalence

Differences across demographics

Provision for those with psychosocial disabilities

How law protects persons with disabilities in armed conflict

INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS (ICRC)
December 2017

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This paper identifies commonalities between international humanitarian law (IHL) and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and emphasizes certain specific contributions of IHL to the protection of persons with disabilities in armed conflict.

It is hoped that this legal analysis will contribute to current efforts by the ICRC and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, as well as other actors, to operationalise better inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities in carrying out humanitarian activities in armed conflict

Landmine Monitor 2017

INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN TO BAN LANDMINES – CLUSTER MUNITION COALITION (ICBL-CMC)
December 2017

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Landmine Monitor 2017 provides a global overview of the landmine situation. Chapters on developments in specific countries and other areas are available in online Country Profiles on the website.

Landmine Monitor covers mine ban policy, use, production, trade, and stockpiling in every country in the world, and also includes information on contamination, clearance, casualties, victim assistance, and support for mine action. The report focuses on calendar year 2016, with information included up to November 2017 when possible.

The Victim Assistance section covers: assessing the needs; frameworks for assistance; enhancing plans and policies; inclusion and active participation of mine victims; availability of and accessibility to services (medical care, rehabilitation including prosthetics; socioeconomic inclusion; education, pyschosocial support); guaranteeing rights in an age- and gender-sensitive manner; communicating objectives and reporting improvements; legal frameworks and new laws.

Disability inclusive humanitarian response

ROHWERDER, Brigitte
December 2017

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"Disasters and armed conflicts can also increase the number of persons with disabilities as people acquire new impairments and/or experience a deterioration in existing impairments from injuries and/or limited access to health care and rehabilitation. For instance, a survey of Syrian refugees living in camps in Jordan and Lebanon found that 22 per cent had an impairment. However, accurate numbers can be hard to calculate due to lack of data disaggregation in humanitarian emergencies and differences in the way disability is defined and measured, while families may be reluctant to disclose disability due to fear of stigma and isolation. As a result, humanitarian programmes may inadequately document and consider the needs of persons with disabilities"

This short Operational Practice Paper from the Humanitarian Learning Centre offers lessons for disability inclusion in humanitarian response. 

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