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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. 

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. 

Human rights of refugee-survivors of sexual and gender-based violence with communication disability

MARSHALL, Julie
BARRETT, Helen
November 2017

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The main aims of this project were to document current knowledge about the intersectionality between sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), communication disability and refugees, to identify any reported good practice, and to begin to understand and describe the challenges to supporting refugee-survivors of SGBV with communication disability, in Rwanda. The project involved 54 participants, including 50 humanitarian and partner organisation staff and four carers of refugees with communication disabilities, from two locations (camp-based and urban refugees).

 

International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology,  20:1, 44-49,

DOI: 10.1080/17549507.2017.1392608

Tackling sexual abuse of people with disabilities - report. What to do in the case of rape or sexual assault (A guide for vctims, their families and friends) - booklet

ADVANTAGE AFRICA
KIBWEZI DISABLED PERSONS ORGANISATION (KDPO)
INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION OF APPLIED DISABILITY RESEARCH (FIRAH)
November 2016

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"The aim of the research was to investigate the social, cultural and institutional factors which contribute to the high incidence of sexual abuse of persons with disabilities in East Africa and to identify interventions which could change detrimental attitudes, beliefs and practices which perpetuate this high incidence. The study used a qualitative participatory action research approach and worked with local partner organisations and Ugandan and Kenyan field level researchers to collect data. Survivors of sexual abuse were not interviewed but instead the research investigated the understandings, beliefs and practices of a range of service providers and key responders who are involved in the prevention of and response to sexual abuse against persons with disabilities in their communities. Groups consulted included police, teachers, health-care workers, government administrators, faith and community organisations and traditional leaders, as well as persons with disabilities and their parents. Participatory workshops were run with a reference group of people with disabilities (with a range of impairments and experiences) and relevant specialists at the initial stage and during the participatory analysis process. After initial orientation and training the field researchers undertook a total of 52 individual interviews and 9 focus group discussions with a range of stakeholders". Powerpoint slides of the research findings and posters are also available.

 

The booklet is a simple guide written to support victims of sexual abuse and their families to know their rights and to understand what services are available to them. 

No justice : torture, trafficking and segregation in Mexico

RODRIGUEZ, Priscila
ROSENTHAL, Eric
GUERRERO, Humberto
July 2015

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This report presents the findings of Disability Rights International (DRI)'s two-year investigation into the treatment of children and adults with mental disabilities in Mexico City which found a pattern of egregious and widespread human rights violations. The investigation found that in Mexico City having a disability can mean a life of detention and uncovered the existence of a “blacklist” of particularly abusive institutions that the Mexico City authorities are aware of – yet they permit these facilities to operate. DRI visited five of 25 facilities on the blacklist and specifically highlight the findings from Mama Rosa and Casa Esperanza, which was so abusive that DRI filed a formal complaint to DIF and sought immediate action by DIF to protect detainees. The report outlines the overall findings and how Mexico can take steps toward reform and justice calling for immediate steps to enforce the basic human rights of people with disabilities and outlines

Note: the report is available in pdf and word versions in both English and Spanish

What works to prevent violence against women with disabilities : a global programme to prevent violence against women and girls

VAN DER HEIJDEN, Ingrid
2014

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This report presents key findings on the evidence from research studies on violence against women with disabilities (WWD) and evidence from interventions to prevent violence.  Despite the greater vulnerability of WWD to gender-based violence (GBV), this report recognises that more research and innovation is needed to develop effective responses, including the identification of risk factors, especially in low-middle income settings. It notes the absence of publications on GBV against WWD, the lack of rigour and demonstrable effectiveness of interventions so far and presents key lessons learned and conclusions. This resource is useful for anyone interested in prevention of violence against women and girls with disabilities

Gender equality and women’s empowerment : women and girls with disabilities

CHRISTOFFEL BLINDENMISSION (CBM)
2014

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This policy brief highlights the intersectionality between gender and disability and advocates that the unique situation of women and girls with disabilities be considered in the provision of protection for women and girls. It outlines the following five key issues for women and girls with disabilities: participation in political and public life, control over their own bodies and family planning, access to justice, education/employment and protection from gender based violence

These issues resonate with the current narrative for crosscutting goals on gender equality and the need for the post-2015 framework to be underpinned by human rights. The recommendations are both overarching (relating to gender equality and human rights) and are also specific to women and girls with disabilities

Post-2015 sustainable development goals : policy brief

The state of the world’s children 2013 : children with disabilities

THE UNITED NATIONS CHILDREN’S FUND (UNICEF)
May 2013

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This report examines "the barriers from inaccessible buildings to dismissive attitudes, from invisibility in official statistics to vicious discrimination - that deprive children with disabilities of their rights and keep them from participating fully in society. The report also lays out some of the key elements of inclusive societies that respect and protect the rights of all children, regardless of disability, and progress in helping all children to flourish and make their contribution to the world"

Inclusive and integrated HIV and AIDS programming

MAC-SEING, Muriel
March 2012

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"This policy brief is an introduction to Handicap International’s 2012 Policy Paper "Inclusive and integrated HIV and AIDS programming". Handicap International promotes an inclusive approach to improving quality of life and access to services for persons with disabilities. This means that basic health care and socioeconomic services are developed according to the principle of Universal Access, where all people with impairments (whether physical, sensory, intellectual or mental), have equal access and opportunities for participation. This inclusive approach also ensures that gender considerations and disparities are acknowledged as a cross-cutting issue"
Policy brief No 7

Understanding and addressing violence against women

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO)
2012

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This resource contains links to seven information sheets to address and understand violence against women. The information sheets include the following: Overview; Intimate partner violence; Sexual violence; Femicide; Female genital mutilation; Human trafficking; Health consequences

Five years on : a global update on violence against children

COWELL, Katherine
BARKER, Jo
October 2011

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"This report summarizes the state of violence against children in the five years since the release of the UN Study. It is neither comprehensive nor exhaustive, but it is illustrative of the continued pervasiveness of violence in children’s lives"

"As if we weren’t human" : discrimination and violence against women with disabilities in northern Uganda

BARRIGA, Shantha Rau KWON, Soo-Ryun
August 2010

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After 20 years of displacement and war in northern Uganda, this research report presents information about the situation of women who acquired their disabilities due to the war or who already had disabilities before the war. The report presents interviews from women with disabilities, their family members, international agencies and NGOs, and analyses their responses given the context that Uganda is a signatory to international treaties, such as the CRPD. The report concludes by making recommendations to the government of Uganda

World report on violence against children

PINHEIRO, Paulo Sergio
August 2006

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This book presents "the outcome of the first comprehensive global attempt to describe the scale of all forms of violence against children and its impact. Violence is a problem that calls for a multisectoral response. This report approaches the issue from the combined perspectives of human rights, public health and child protection. This report asserts that no violence against children is justifiable and all forms of violence are preventable. The commitments made at international and national levels and the accumulated knowledge described in this report give us the necessary tools to protect children from violence, to prevent it from happening in the first place, and to mitigate the consequences"
Note: the report is available in individual pdf files from the link above

On the margins : violence against women with disabilities

NAIDU, Ereshnee
et al
April 2005

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This report explores why disabled women are more susceptible to violence then non-disabled women. It further examines how service providers respond to their needs, and the barriers associated with accessing proper assistance. The authors also investigate the role of government in providing health services that provide equal and adequate support. This work tackles issues of social isolation, stigma, and human rights

17 fact sheets on gender-related aspects of HIV/AIDS | Resource pack on gender and HIV/AIDS

UNAIDS Inter-Agency Task Team on Gender and HIV/AIDS
2005

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These fact sheets aim to provide policy makers with concise information about gender related aspects of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. They deal with core facts and issues in thematic areas and are underpinned by an analysis which clarifies how gender issues are fuelling the crisis. Each theme presents a self-contained set of issues and recommendations and many of the themes are interlinked. All of them are connected by a concern to promote a gender-enlightened and comprehensive response to HIV/AIDS and its impacts

Nonconsensual sex among youth

FINGER, William
et al
March 2004

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Reproductive health and HIV prevention programmes for youth rarely look at the reallity of coercive sex that so many youth face. Coercive sex is a violation of a person's rights and can have severe mental, physical and reproductive health consequences, including pregnancy and HIV and other STIs. This paper highlights a number of key issues: the range of sexual coercion faced by youth; the impact of gender norms on coercion; the consequences of coercion; and programme approaches to reduce the problem

Information kit : violence means death of the soul

RADTKE, Dinah
et al
2000

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This practical toolkit is written by women with disabilities with the aim to empower disabled women so that they gain awareness of their humanity and of their rights and regain or gain their self-respect. It describes situations of violence and legislative situations in specific European countries. It also provides instruments for action and resources, international documents and documents of NGOs. It represents an important document for organisations and individuals that deal with abuse. It is also available on CD-ROM

Promotion of sexual health : recommendations for action

PAN AMERICAN HEALTH ORGANIZATION (PAHO)
2000

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Establishes definitions of terms such as 'sex' and 'sexuality', and discusses basic concepts, concerns and problems related to promoting sexual health. Presents and discusses five basic goals, or broad recommendations for action, to advance the sexual health of people in the Americas.

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