This guidance has been produced by CBM Australia for UNICEF’s East Asia and the Pacific Regional Office and UNICEF Australia. This document provides background, identifies key risks, risk mitigation measures, and provides links to key resources available to support UNICEF staff and partners in designing a COVID-19 response that is inclusive of children and youth with disabilities. It briefly presents information known at this time (May 2020) while recognising that as the pandemic evolves resources and evidence will also evolve.
This collection and review of evidence aims to illustrate how the COVID-19 crisis triggers disproportionate risks and barriers for persons with disabilities (men, women, boys and girls) living in humanitarian settings. It highlights recommendations for humanitarian actors, to enhance inclusive action, aligned with existing guidance and learnings on disability inclusion. It is based on evidence, including testimonies, collected by HI programs in 19 countries of intervention. Special efforts were made to reflect the voices of persons with different types of disabilities, genders and ages, residing in different geographical areas and living circumstances, including refugee and internally displaced persons’ settlements and hostcommunities.
Evidence has been collected through primary data collection among HI teams and partners, working in countries impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in April/May 2020. Data was extracted from assessments conducted by HI and partners in Bangladesh, Egypt, Haïti, Indonesia, Philippines, Jordan, Lebanon, Somaliland and Togo. Testimonies from affected communities, staff and partners were collected in Kenya, Myanmar, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, Somaliland, South Sudan, Rwanda, Thailand, Uganda and Yemen.
Displaced persons with disabilities face additional challenges to protect themselves and their families and barriers to access services, in camps that were not built for COVID-19
First webinar of the project "Phase 2 - Leave no one behind!: Mainstreaming Disability in Humanitarian Action". The project is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office and led by Handicap International e.V. (HI). It is implemented together with the Christoffel Blindenmission e.V. (CBM) and the Institute for International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict (IFHV) of the Ruhr-University Bochum. The project aims at mainstreaming disability in humanitarian coordination mechanisms, strengthening the capacities of German humanitarian actors and their local partners, and improving data collection on the inclusion of persons with disabilities.
In March 2020, a group of UK-based international NGOs, coordinated by Islamic Relief Worldwide in conjunction with HPG (Humanitarian Policy Group at ODI), hosted a roundtable discussion to identify strategies for using the IASC Guidelines to mainstream disability inclusion within humanitarian interventions. This roundtable learning note summarises the key points of discussion.
The objectives of the roundtable included:
- To identify strategies for using the IASC Guidelines, alongside other resources, to mainstream disability inclusion within the key components of all humanitarian interventions.
- To share challenges, opportunities and effective approaches for mainstream humanitarian actors to systematically build their internal capacities on inclusion of people with disabilities
- To discuss opportunities for further collaboration to promote innovation and learning
The intersection between age, gender and disability and the use of assistive technology (AT) by older people, in emergency response and as a tool for disaster risk reduction (DRR) is explored. The report shows that AT can have a positive impact on independence, vulnerability reduction and resilience building for older women and men in humanitarian crises. This report urges for sensitization and capacity building of humanitarian organizations for the inclusion and promotion of assistive product (AP) provision in humanitarian response and offers insight into key areas to enable AT provision to successfully meet the needs of older people.
The study employed primary research methods to gather both quantitative and qualitative information through a semi-structured survey with HelpAge programme beneficiaries in five countries: Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan. The survey incorporated the Washington Group short set of questions (WGQs), designed to identify people with functional difficulties in six core functional domains: mobility, vision, hearing, cognition, self-care and communication (Washington Group on Disability Statistics, 2016). The report also summarises secondary research including a literature review, information from rapid needs assessments carried out by HelpAge, and maps out relevant policy changes which have led to better recognition of the intersectionality and importance of AT for older men and women.
A brief overview of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Guidelines on inclusion of persons with disabilities in humanitarian action is given. Key points of the Humanitarian Policy Group (HPG) roundtable meeting (Mar 2020) are summarised, along with their implications for practice during the Covid-19 response. These are: accessible formats; learning and evidence; tools; training; coordination and partnerships; strategies for organisational change and accountability.
The objective of this High-Level Round Table was to reiterate the need to adhere to the set of commitments entered through the adoption of the Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and to act with determination to leave no one behind, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic and in the recovery phase.
A collection of stories from people with various disabilities across the globe sharing their experiences with the COVID-19 outbreak and pandemic risk reduction strategies implemented by their governments. Some stories are written by IDA and some are external.
- How absence of transport can be fatal: A Story from Uganda
- In Uganda, a Deaf man loses his leg after being shot during curfew
- Voices of Mexico: Disability and COVID-19 | Voces de Mexico: Discapacidad y COVID-19
- COVID-19 in Mexico: the experience of deafblind children told by their mothers (Espanōl)
- Reaching Persons with Deafblindness
- COVID-19 and The Forgotten People (Indonesia)
- When accessible information is far from a reality: Zimbabwe during COVID-19
- The experience of a blind woman in Kenya under COVID-19 outbreak
- Being a single mother of two persons with disabilities under COVID-19 (South Africa)
- Autistic students in South Africa: how has their life changed?
- The Story of Rose Rokiatou: COVID-19 Pandemic and Financial Vulnerability of Persons with Disability in Mali
- COVID-19 in Romania: Life-threatening situations reported
- COVID-19 in Nepal: What are the challenges for indigenous persons with disabilities?
- COVID-19 in India : Technology can be your best friend or worst enemy
This virtual side event was held on 28 May 2020, coinciding with the UN Security Council Open Debate on the Protection of Civilians. It focused on the disproportionate challenges facing persons with disabilities in humanitarian, conflict, and post-conflict settings. Chaired by the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Ms. Catalina Devandas Aguilar, this discussion shared insights from speakers and panelists from the Governments of Poland and the United Kingdom, the European Union, UNMAS, Humanity & Inclusion (H.I.), the International Disability Alliance (IDA) and others.
By presenting the situation in Syria, Humanitarian Policy and Advocacy Manager for HI Syria response Bahia Zrikem highlighted the fundamental role Council Members should play in ensuring that all civilians, including persons with disabilities, are fully protected during hostilities, in line with International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Law obligations, including the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), and the UNSC Resolution 2475 on protecting persons with disabilities in armed conflict.
The document aims to provide persons with disabilities, their representative organisations (OPDs) and other civil society organisations with practical support to analyse and report on the implementation of the rights of persons with disabilities in situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies (Article 11 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – CRPD). It also provides a horizon scanning of legal frameworks applying at international level, and other relevant reporting mechanisms.
There are three parts:
- An analysis of the legal frameworks guiding inclusive humanitarian action,
- A guide on the CRPD State reporting cycle for OPDs and civil society organizations
- A monitoring and analysis matrix on Article 11 of the CRPD
Urgent considerations about the Syrian crisis are shared in preparation for the June 2020 “IV Brussels Conference on Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region”. Six "Issue Briefs" have been produced to outline the key issues
- Continuity of Services, Humanitarian Access and Protection of Humanitarian Workers
- Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas (EWIPA), Contamination and Mine Action
- Health Care and Health Needs – Physical Rehabilitation, Psychosocial Support and Mental Health (MHPSS)
- Inclusion of Persons with disabilities in the Syrian Humanitarian Response
- Inclusive Livelihoods Programs for Early Recovery
- Durable Solutions, Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)
In her report, the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, Cecilia Jimenez-Damary, provides an account of the activities she has undertaken pursuant to the mandate given to her by the Human Rights Council in resolution 41/15.
In the thematic section of the report, the Special Rapporteur examines the specific experiences of persons with disabilities in the context of displacement. She analyses the obstacles to the equal enjoyment of their rights and recommends actions to ensure inclusive protection, assistance and durable solutions.
Issues of gender inequality and of vulnerability of marginalised people (those with chronic health issues and those living with disabilities) in the context of WASH and emergencies are highlighted.
Ways in which responses to the COVID-19 emergency can mitigate both existing and new vulnerabilities are proposed. A list of "dos and don'ts" is provided.
Humanitarian and development partners have established a joint Incident Management Team (IMT) to support COVID-19 preparedness and response efforts in the Pacific. This coordination mechanism has successfully leveraged partners’ capacities and resources, and continues to coordinate their actions to ensure that effective support is provided to national authorities and the affected population.
Humanitarian organizations and donors have committed to change the way humanitarian action is carried out and create a “Participation Revolution.” In this webinar issues addressed included:
- inclusion of the people and communities affected by humanitarian crises in practice;
- how organizations are ensuring that the voices of the most vulnerable groups considering gender, age, ethnicity, language, and special needs are heard and acted upon;
- how program activities and budgets are designed to support the changes that affected people demand
In this webinar, organized on 26 March 2020 by PHAP and the Steering Committee for Humanitarian Response, we took stock of the progress to date on workstream six of the Grand Bargain and heard success stories from the field that can help agencies achieve a sustained change in how they design and deliver their programs.
A full transcript is available. Webinar registrants were asked to provide what they thought, in their context, was the most important factor enabling participation in practice and what they thought was the most important factor preventing participation in practice. Answers are provided in an Annex.
The IASC recently endorsed guidelines for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in humanitarian action. How can these guidelines help make humanitarian action more inclusive? On 26 February 2020, ICVA and PHAP organized a webinar together with the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) secretariat and the Reference Group on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action, which introduced the guidelines and discuss how they can be implemented in practice
The government of Paraguay has launched an accessible communication service to ensure that persons with disabilities can receive comprehensive information about COVID-19
A systematic literature review on the cost–effectiveness of emergency care interventions in low- and middle- income countries.
Bulletin of the World Health Organization 2020;98:341-35
When emergencies strike, there is a huge surge in the need for Early Rehabilitation. Early Rehabilitation for patients with traumatic injuries in conflicts and disasters is now recognised as being an integral part of a patient’s recovery. However, the majority of rehabilitation professionals in countries that experience such emergencies do not have all the skills needed to treat all of the injuries. HI, in collaboration with leading organisations (ICRC, MSF-France, CBM, Livability & the WHO), has created this educational resource package to fill this gap
Each chapter of this handbook has been written by experts in their field. It includes pictures and evidence based treatment protocols to help rehabilitation professionals around the world to delivery high quality early rehabilitation intervention. Chapters included are:
- Key Challenges in Delivering Early Rehabilitation in Conflicts and Disasters
- Early Rehabilitation Patient Assessment and Treatment - the Basics
- Early Rehabilitation of Fractures
- Early Rehabilitation of Peripheral Nerve Injuries
- Early Rehabilitation of Amputees
- Early Rehabilitation of Acquired Brain Injuries
- Early Rehabilitation of Spinal Cord Injuries
- Early Rehabilitation of Burns
Videos accompany each of the chapters. The handbook contents are directly linked to modules taught on disasterready.org where there are additional accompanying resources designed to be used in conflict and disasters settings
Sphere reviewed emerging practices in the Coronavirus outbreak response and released a 4-page document guiding you through the relevant parts of the Sphere Handbook. The document outlines the underlying principles and the importance of community engagement, as well as a detailed review of the relevant technical guidance in the WASH and Health chapter
Source e-bulletin on Disability and Inclusion