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Women and young persons with disabilities: Guidelines for providing rights-based and gender-responsive services to address gender-based violence and sexual and reproductive health and rights

HOLOBOFF RADFORD, Anastasia
et al
November 2018

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This publications aims to provide practical and concrete guidelines for making Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) services more inclusive of and accessible to women and young persons with disabilities and for targeting interventions to meet their disability-specific needs.
 
Critical services for all victims and survivors of GBV include health services (e.g. first-line support, sexual assault examination and care, mental health assessment and care), justice and policing services (e.g. assessment and investigation, perpetrator accountability and reparations, safety and protection, justice sector coordination), social services (e.g. crisis counselling; help lines; legal and rights information, advice, and representation; psychosocial support and counselling), and coordination at both the national and local level.

 

Fundamental SRHR services for women and young persons—with and without disabilities— include comprehensive sexuality education; information, goods, and services for the full range of modern contraceptive methods, including emergency contraception; maternal/newborn healthcare (including antenatal care, skilled attendance at delivery, emergency obstetric care, post-partum care, and newborn care); prevention, diagnosis, and treatment for sexual and reproductive health issues (e.g. sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, syphilis, and HPV, cancers of the reproductive system and breast cancer, and infertility); safe and accessible abortion, where it is not against the law; and post-abortion care to treat complications from unsafe abortion.

 

While the primary audience of these Guidelines is GBV and SRHR service providers and support staff, these Guidelines are also intended as a valuable resource for all stakeholders—including those in government, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations—involved in designing, developing, implementing, or advocating for GBV or SRHR services for women and young persons with disabilities. 

Young persons with disabilities: Global study on ending gender-based violence, and realising sexual and reproductive health and rights

McCLOSKEY, Megan
MEYERS, Stephen
July 2018

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This study provides an analysis on the situation of young persons with disabilities concerning discrimination and gender-based violence, including the impact on their sexual and reproductive health and rights. It also provides an assessment of legal, policy and programming developments and specific good practices in service delivery as well as best-standard prevention and protection measures. Finally, policy and programming recommendations are provided to assist in greater promotion of the rights of young persons with disabilities, with a particular emphasis on preventing and responding to gender-based violence, and realizing sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Invisible victims of sexual violence. Access to justice for women and girls with disabilities in India

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
April 2018

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This report is based on 17 cases of sexual violence against women and girls with disabilities in eight Indian states. It comes five years after The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013 (the 2013 amendments) were adopted in India. It follows Human Rights Watch’s November 2017 report “Everyone Blames Me”: Barriers to Justice and Support Services for Sexual Assault Survivors in India, which found that rape survivors still face significant barriers obtaining justice and critical support services because legal and other reforms have not been fully realised.

This report finds that while the 2013 amendments have made significant progress in responding to the widespread challenges that victims of sexual violence endure, they have yet to properly develop and implement support for survivors with disabilities in the form of trainings and reforms throughout the criminal justice system. It highlights gaps in enforcement and calls for concrete measures to address the needs of women and girls with disabilities seeking justice for abuse. 

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.

Human rights toolkit for women and girls with disabilities. First edition.

Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA)
October 2016

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A Toolkit for women or girls with disabilities to learn more about human rights and how this knowledge can be used to achieve change in their own lives or the lives of others. Following an introduction about why this Toolkit is needed,  a brief overview of five key human rights issues that women and girls with disability in Australia have identified as most important to them is provided. Section 3 provides information about what human rights are and also gives a brief overview about Australia’s international human rights obligations. Sections 4 and 5 focus on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), examining the main ‘Article’ from each, that deals with the important urgent issues that have been identified by women with disability in Australia, which are: Violence; Decision-Making; Participation; Sexual and Reproductive Rights; and, Employment. For each of these issues, the words of the main Article (as it appears in the CRPD and CEDAW) are provided and explained in practical terms, and examples are given of what governments have to know and do. Information from WWDA members and supporters about some of the key changes which need to happen is given. Different ideas of what women and girls with disability can do to help achieve change and promote the rights of all women and girls with disability are given and some sample letters and ‘talking points’ for phone calls to a local Member of Parliament, or a government Minister or advisers are provided.   

Women and girls with disabilities. Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. General comment No. 3 (2016). Article 6.

OFFICE OF THE UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONERS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS (OHCHR)
September 2016

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"International and national laws and policies on disability have historically neglected aspects related to women and girls with disabilities. In turn, laws and policies addressing women have traditionally ignored disability". "Article 6 serves as an interpretation tool to approach the responsibilities of States parties across the Convention, to promote, protect and fulfil the human rights of women and girls with disabilities, from a human rights-based approach and a development perspective". These general comments take the form of an introduction, normative content, states parties’ obligations, the interrelationship of article 6 with other articles of the Convention (perspectives of women with disabilities in CRPD provisions) and national implementation

Disability orientation

UNITED NATIONS CHILDREN'S FUND (UNICEF)
May 2013

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"This web-based disability orientation for staff is a multi-media, 40-minute video that includes interesting and thought provoking statements, resources and good practices from UNICEF and partners from across the globe. The objective of the orientation is to strengthen understanding of, and capacity to support, programming for children and women with disabilities. The Disability Orientation consists of two main modules, each module has five lessons. The first part of the Orientation provides an overview of the disability movement and what disability means according to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The second part of the Orientation focusses on how to mainstream disability through our work. The Orientation on Disability can be taken individually or in groups"
Note: Video is available with English subtitles as well as accessibility options like voice over and American Sign Language

Human rights for women and children with disabilities

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
2012

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This report highlights various human rights abuses against women and children on the following topics: sexual and gender-based violence targeted at women and girls with disabilities; discrimination in health and reproductive rights, including forced sterilization and HIV and disability; barriers to education for children with disabilities; violence against children with disabilities in schools; and abuses in institutions. This resource is useful to anyone interested in human rights of women and children with disabilities

IDA submission for the joint general comment/recommendation of the Committee on the Rights of the Child and the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women on harmful practices

INTERNATIONAL DISABILITY ALLIANCE (IDA)
December 2011

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This report presents harmful practices that violate the rights of women and children with disabilities and details the standards protecting against harmful practices in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It concludes with recommendations from IDA

Violence affects everyone

UNICEF PACIFIC
THE FIJI ASSOCIATION OF THE DEAF
2011

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This video features two perspectives of members from the Deaf community in Fiji about violence against women and girls. The issue of violence is defined and examples of support services are provided. This video is useful for anyone interested in violence issues in Fiji

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"

Disabilities among refugees and conflict-affected populations

WOMEN'S COMMISSION FOR REFUGEE WOMEN AND CHILDREN
June 2008

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"This report is the culmination of a six-month project...to address the rights and needs of displaced persons with disabilities, with a particular focus on women (including older women), children and youth. Based on field research in five refugee situations, as well as global desk research, the Women’s Commission sought to map existing services for displaced persons with disabilities, identify gaps and good practices and make recommendations on how to improve services, protection and participation for displaced persons with disabilities"

Language impairment and sexual assault of girls and women : findings from a community sample

BROWNLIE, E. B
et al
2007

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"This study reports on a community sample of children with speech or language impairment, followed to age 25. Sexual assault history was assessed based on two questions from the Composite International Diagnostic Interview Posttraumatic Stress Disorder module. Women with language impairment (n = 33) were more likely than women with unimpaired language (n = 59) to report sexual abuse/assault, controlled for socioeconomic status. Sexual assault was associated with higher rates of psychiatric disorders and poorer functioning. Women with neither language impairment nor a history of sexual assault had fewer psychiatric disorders and higher functioning than women with language impairment and/or a history of sexual assault"
Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, Vol 35, No 4

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