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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. 

Including children with disabilities in humanitarian action

UNICEF
July 2017

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"The purpose of Including Children with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action is to strengthen the inclusion of children and women with disabilities, and their families, in emergency preparedness, response and early recovery, and recovery and reconstruction. This series of booklets provides insight into the situation of children with disabilities in humanitarian contexts, highlights the ways in which they are excluded from humanitarian action, and offers practical actions and tips to better include children and adolescents with disabilities in all stages of humanitarian action. The booklets were created in response to UNICEF colleagues in the field expressing a need for a practical resource to guide their work. The information and recommendations are based on evidence and good practices gathered from literature and field staff experiences. The six booklets on how to include children and adolescents with disabilities in humanitarian programmes are as follows: 1) general guidance; 2) child protection; 3) education; 4) health and HIV/AIDS; 5) nutrition; 6) water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)".

General guidance available July 2017. Others to follow.

In addition to the PDF versions in English, Arabic and French, the guidance is also available in a range of accessible formats, including EPUB, a Braille-ready file and accessible HTML formats. 

The guidance was developed in collaboration with Handicap International.

 

Accessible formats:

DAISY [zip file]

EPUB [EPUB]

HTML [zip file]

Braille-ready 

 

 

Additional resources:

Checklist for including children with disabilities in preparedness [English] [French]

Checklist for including children with disabilities in response and early recovery [English] [French]

Checklist for including children with disabilities in recovery and reconstruction 

Social inclusion and mental health of children with physical disabilities in Gaza, Palestine

NASSER, Khaled
MACLACHLAN, Malcolm
MCVEIGH, Joanne
November 2016

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"Social inclusion of children with physical disabilities is essential for their mental health. The long-standing conflict and political instability in Palestine since 1948 has resulted in an unprecedented number of children with disabilities. This study aimed to assess social inclusion and mental health of children with physical disabilities in Palestine. Method: A mixed methods research design was used. The 12-item General Health Questionnaire and the Brief Assessment of Social Inclusion for Children with Disability (BASIC-D) were administered to 100 children with amputations, 12-18 years of age, in the Gaza Strip. Ten semi-structured interviews were also conducted with personnel working across civil society rehabilitation services in the area, particularly in services that focussed on the physical rehabilitation of children who had lost a limb"

Disability under occupation : at the congruence between conflict, religion, & society in Palestine

RASHID, Omar
January 2015

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A dissertation on the Palestinian experience of disability under Israeli territorial occupation. The following key research questions were considered under this dissertation. "First, to locate the perceptions of disability among the disabled in the occupied territories of Palestine, in light of their religious affiliation. Second, to investigate the realities of the disabled within Palestine; and third, to enquire as to whether there had been any differences in the perceptions of disabilities and the realities of those who were injured in conflict, and those who were born with impairment" These questions were answered through a hybrid-methods system of research, with a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods being used

 

Dissertation submitted in part fulfilment of the requirements for a Masters degree at the University of Birmingham

The user has given permission for the original dissertation document to be uploaded to be reproduced and made publicly available on the Source website

Positive practices in disability inclusion : "socialize, not stigmatize" : including children with disabilities in child-friendly spaces

WOMEN'S REFUGEE COMMISSION
International Medical Corps (IMC)
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
September 2014

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The Women's Refugee Commission identified and documented positive practices for disability inclusion in community center and outreach programming, in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and its partners in Lebanon. Child-friendly spaces are being established at community centers, in order to provide access to a safe environment where children can access psychological support, and health and education initiatives. This article discusses how International Medical Corps is approaching the inclusion of children with disabilities in these child friendly spaces

 

 

Module 15 : inclusive education in emergencies

THE INTER-AGENCY NETWORK FOR EDUCATION IN EMERGENCIES (INEE)
IASC EDUCATION CLUSTER
2012

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This module outlines 90 minutes of training activities and materials relating to inclusive education in emergency contexts. It provides the basic principles underpinning inclusive education, barriers to inclusion, and how they can be identified and addressed in emergencies. It also encourages participants to begin thinking about how to apply suggested good practices for inclusive education in emergencies, such as those outlined in "INEE Pocket Guide to Supporting Learners with Disabilities", and "Education in Emergencies: Including Everyone." This module is useful for anyone interested in inclusive education in emergency contexts
Note: Power point slides accompany this training module

INEE pocket guide to supporting learners with disabilities

LEWIS, Ingrid
LITTLE, Duncan
PINNOCK, Helen
2010

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This guide offers practical ideas for including children and young people with disabilities in education during or after an emergency. It addresses current barriers to inclusive education. Specific sections cover curriculum content , tests and learning assessments. This guide will assist anyone working with teachers or facilitators in an emergency, whether as part of the formal education system or a non-governmental programme

Including disabled children in psychosocial programmes in areas affected by armed conflict

VON DER ASSEN, Nina
EUWEMA, Mathijs
CORNIELJE, Huib
2010

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"Children with disabilities are more vulnerable to violence, as well as more likely to experience psychosocial problems in situations of armed conflict than children with no disabilities. All children who live in conflict affected areas have the same rights to psychosocial support, as enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child and in the case of disabled children, additionally the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. However, children with disabilities are often overlooked in psychosocial programmes. In this article, the authors examine the reasons behind this observed exclusion and suggest ways to increase the participation of children with disabilities"
Intervention, Vol 8, No 1

ARC resource pack : user guide

ACTION FOR THE RIGHTS OF CHILDREN (ARC)
2009

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"The ARC resource pack provides an essential collection of information and training material on CD-ROM, to strengthen people’s capacity: to tackle the root causes of children’s vulnerabilities; to build effective child protection systems for use in emergencies and long-term development; [and] to ensure that no activities inadvertently compromise children’s rights or safety....The pack includes the latest standards and best practices and reflects the realities of present-day emergencies, with increased emphasis on natural disasters and internal displacement.....This guide explains what is on the CD-ROM and the range of users for whom it is relevant. It will help you to decide how to build ARC materials into your work and outlines the relationship between the ARC resource pack and other materials"

Disabilities among refugees and conflict-affected populations : resource kit for field workers|Improving services for displaced persons with disabilities : lessons learned and ideas for action

WOMEN'S COMMISSION FOR REFUGEE WOMEN AND CHILDREN
June 2008

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This resource kit offers ..."practical ideas on how to improve services and protection for people with disabilities and enhance their inclusion and participation in community affairs. It is based on the findings of five country field studies, as well global desk research into other refugee and internally displaced persons programmes and an analysis of existing international policies and practices relating to displaced persons with disabilities. It would be useful to United Nations, non-governmental organisation, community-based organisation and disabled people's organisation field staff working with refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced persons with disabilities"

What rights for mine victims? reparation, compensation : from legal analysis to political perspectives

ASSOGBAVI, Désiré
et al
April 2005

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This report examines different areas of international law: human rights, international humanitarian law and environmental law, as well as national laws in order to compile the potential legal means which could be claimed by landmine victims. The latter half of the report describes steps that can be undertaken by the international community to set up appropriate mechanisms. This resource would be useful for anyone with an interest in human rights, international law and landmine victims

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