Resources search

Working with persons with disabilities in forced displacement

UN HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES (UNHCR)
2019

Expand view

This note has been updated from its 2011 release and provides UNHCR and partners with specific guidance on meeting the protection needs of a diversity of persons with disabilities. While the document refers mainly to refugees, it applies to all of UNHCR’s persons of concern, including refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced persons, returnees, and stateless persons.

This note provides guidance on: who persons with disabilities are; key principles (rights based approach, inclusion, participation and non-discrimination) and cross-cutting actions. 

The current situation of persons with disabilities in Jordan

THOMPSON, Steven
August 2018

Expand view

This K4D helpdesk research report seeks to explore the current (2018) situation of persons with disabilities (PWD) in Jordan. It presents recent data on the state of PWD in Jordan, such as data on access to basic services for PWD. It also considers the political, social, cultural, and economic context for PWD in Jordan. Finally, it explores laws and policies relevant to the rights of PWD in Jordan. It considers the situation for Syrian refugees with disabilities with regards to the above themes. Where possible, the report presents data disaggregated by age and gender

Situation of persons with disabilities in Lebanon.

COMBAZ, Emilie
July 2018

Expand view

This K4D helpdesk report identifies information since 2013 concerning:

  • data on the state of persons with disabilities in Lebanon
  • assessments of laws on the rights of persons with disabilities in Lebanon
  • analyses of the political, social, cultural, and economic context for persons with disabilities in Lebanon

Issues particular to persons with disabilities amongst Syrian refugees within these aspects are identified where possible.

The state of knowledge and gaps are discussed. 

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

SHEPPARD, Phillip
POLACK, Sarah
McGIVERN, Madeleine
July 2018

Expand view

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

Removing barriers - The path towards inclusive access. Disability assessment among Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon. Jordan report

ASAI, Yahoko
et al
July 2018

Expand view

Humanity & Inclusion (HI) and iMMAP conducted a study concerning with the lack of disability data in the Syria crisis context,  which aimed to:

  • Provide statistically reliable prevalence of disability as well as disability disaggregated data indicators on access to services.
  • Increase understanding of the situation of Syrian refugees with disabilities and their households, compared to their peers without disabilities, in relation to the access to services including education, and key barriers experienced in accessing these services.
  • Recommend inclusive actions to be prioritized by humanitarian actors.

The study conducted a literature review, quantitative data collection as well as qualitative data collection. Quantitative data was collected from 6,381 persons of randomly sampled 1,159 households in Azraq and Zaatari camps and Irbid between October 2017 and January 2018. Twenty-five Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) and 3 Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) were also conducted between November 2017 and January 2018 to elicit deeper insights on the educational situation of children with and without disabilities

Removing barriers - The path towards inclusive access. Disability assessment among Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon. Lebanon report

ASAI, Yahoko
et al
July 2018

Expand view

Humanity & Inclusion (HI) and iMMAP conducted a study concerned with the lack of disability data in the Syria crisis context,  which aimed to:

  • Provide statistically reliable prevalence of disability as well as disability disaggregated data indicators on access to services.
  • Increase understanding of the situation of Syrian refugees with disabilities and their households, compared to their peers without disabilities, in relation to the access to services including education, and key barriers experienced in accessing these services.
  • Recommend inclusive actions to be prioritized by humanitarian actors.

The study conducted a literature review, quantitative data collection as well as qualitative data collection. Quantitative data was collected from 2,495 persons of randomly sampled 506 households in the urban setting in Bar Elias as well as Informal Tented Settlements (ITS) in Bar Elias and Arsal in December 2017. Fourteen Key Informant Interviews (KII) were also conducted in December 2017 to elicit deeper insights on the educational situation of children with and without disabilities.

Disability in humanitarian context: A case study from Iraq

HUMANITY & INCLUSION (HI)
June 2018

Expand view

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

Expand view

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

Gender and disability intersectionality in practice: Women and girls with disabilities addressing discrimination and violence in Africa.

ADAMS, Lisa
et al
March 2018

Expand view

This new Making It Work report presents 9 good practices successfully addressing the prevention and response to violence and discrimination against women and girls with disabilities in Africa. It also contains key advocacy recommendations that can be used for disability and/or gender advocates in order to further promote the rights of women and girls with disabilities.

The practices were:

  • Gender-Based Violence prevention through a grassroots initiative led by women with disabilities (Rwanda)
  • Protecting urban refugee women and girls with disabilities from abuse and discrimination in Kenya
  • Advancing the access of deafblind women and girls to Sexual and Reproductive Health (Malawi)
  • Enhancing access to justice for GenderBased Violence survivors with intellectual challenges through integrated legal and psychosocial support service provision (Kenya)
  • Developing knowledge and empowerment through the Gender and Disability Inclusive Development Community of Practice (Cameroon)
  • Promoting a safer, Gender-Based Violence free environment for women and girls with disabilities in Lilongwe, Malawi
  • Restoring the dignity of women and girls with disabilities in the Plateau State of Nigeria
  • Forging a district community where women and girls with disabilities live dignified and empowered lives (Uganda)
  • Emerging Practice: Fostering peace and respect by bringing women and girls with disabilities concerns into a women’s organization (Kenya)

Global education monitoring report, 2019: migration, displacement and education: building bridges, not walls

UNITED NATIONS EDUCATIONAL, SCIENTIFIC AND CULTURAL ORGANIZATION (UNESCO)
et al
2018

Expand view

“The 2019 GEM Report continues its assessment of progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) on education and its ten targets, as well as other related education targets in the SDG agenda.


Its main focus is on the theme of migration and displacement. It presents evidence on the implications of different types of migration and displacement for education systems but also the impact that reforming education curricula and approaches to pedagogy and teacher preparation can have on addressing the challenges and opportunities posed by migration and displacement. It gives voice to experiences in host and home communities.


With the help of case studies, it illustrates approaches which work and could be scaled up. In this way, it aims to be a tool for practitioners. It will make the case for investing in education of good quality in rural areas suffering from depopulation and in slum areas suffering from large population inflows; in countries with high rates of emigration and those with high rates of immigration; in short-term refugee emergencies and in protracted crises. Its analysis, conclusions and recommendations advance the aims of SDG 4 and its call to leave no one behind.”

Disability inclusive humanitarian response

ROHWERDER, Brigitte
December 2017

Expand view

"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. 

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

MARSHALL, Julie
BARRETT, Helen
November 2017

Expand view

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

Mental health assessments in refugees and asylum seekers: evaluation of a tablet-assisted screening software

MORINA, Naser
et al
October 2017

Expand view

Mental health problems resulting from persecution and forced migration are very common among refugees and asylum seekers and evolve into a major public health challenge. Language barriers often prevent timely access to appropriate health care, leading to chronic trajectories and abortive social integration. Tools for multilingual screening and assessment could be of great benefit for this particularly vulnerable population as well as for policy makers. This study aimed at testing the reliability, feasibility and usability of the Multi-Adaptive Psychological Screening Software (MAPSS), a newly developed Audio Computer-Assisted Self-Interview Software (ACASI) for touchscreen devices, for screening purposes in a clinical setting. In a randomized cross-over design including both MAPSS and paper-pencil clinician-administered interviews, 30 treatment-seeking refugees completed clinical measures and a feasibility questionnaire to rate the user interface of MAPSS. Five professionals performed given tasks in MAPSS and completed usability questionnaires for the administration interface.

Conflict and Health 2017 11:18

https://doi.org/10.1186/s13031-017-0120-2

Everywhere the bombing followed us. Forced displacement and the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. Perspectives of Syrian women refugees in Lebanon

BEAUJOLAIS, Aurelie
September 2017

Expand view

Based on a survey of 205 Syrian refugees in Lebanon and in-depth interviews with 14 Syrian women refugees originally from different towns and cities in Syria, and additional research, this study confirms that the use of explosive weapons in populated areas drives multiple forced displacements and induces a pattern of displacement that increases the vulnerability of civilians. Quantitative data collected during the survey confirms the correlation between multiple forced displacements and the use of the explosive weapons, as almost half of all respondents had been internally displaced prior to seeking external refuge in Lebanon, with an average of 3 internal displacements within their own city. The women interviewed highlighted the deprivation induced by forced displacement. The study also reflects the considerable harm caused by the use of explosive weapons in populated areas in terms of socio-economic vulnerability, linked to the loss of livelihood and the disruption of civilian infrastructure, as well as the long-term impact on mental health. Dire social impacts were emphasised by respondents, namely aid dependence and new restrictions encountered by people living with disabilities, along with a loss of personal dignity, as well as the loss of education for Syrian children

 

Including children with disabilities in humanitarian action

UNICEF
July 2017

Expand view

"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 

Central African Republic: People with disabilities at high risk - 4 years into conflict, more support, protection needed

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
June 2017

Expand view

People with disabilities in the Central African Republic have faced violent attacks, forced displacement, and ongoing neglect in the humanitarian response, Human Rights Watch said today. A peace accord signed on June 19, 2017, offers a chance to help this abused and marginalized group.

People with disabilities face high risk from violent attacks and forced displacement and are being neglected by aid groups as conflict in the Central African Republic intensifies.

New Human Rights Watch research in the country shows that people with a range of disabilities are often unable to flee violence, are especially vulnerable to attack while trying to flee, and face unsafe and unhealthy conditions in displacement camps.

This video and blog page report on the problems faced by people with disabilities as conflict in the Central African Republic intensifies. People with a range of disabilities are often unable to flee violence, are especially vulnerable to attack while trying to flee, and face unsafe and unhealthy conditions in displacement camps.

South Sudan: People with disabilities, older people face danger

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
May 2017

Expand view

It is reported that people with disabilities and older people in South Sudan face greater risks of being caught in fighting and greater challenges in getting necessary humanitarian assistance. In February and March 2017, Human Rights Watch interviewed more than 45 people with disabilities and older people in displacement sites in Juba and Malakal, as well as in Panyijar county in the former Unity state, where the UN declared famine in two counties in February. Human Rights Watch also met with aid organizations and the South Sudan Human Rights Commission. The challenges faced by people with disabilities are reported.

Greece: Refugees with Disabilities Overlooked, Underserved

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
January 2017

Expand view

Refugees, asylum seekers, and other migrants with disabilities are not properly identified and do not enjoy equal access to services in reception centres in Greece.  On the basis of research carried out in mainland Greece and on the Greek islands in October 2016 and January 2017, and follow-up phone interviews in December 2016 and January 2017, Human Rights Watch found that asylum seekers and refugees with disabilities are not properly identified in Greece, in part because of a rushed registration process and the need for better guidance for staff. Without an adequate understanding of the scale and needs, aid agencies cannot respond effectively. Problems with equal access to water and sanitation services, food distribution, shelter, and health care including mental health and psychosocial support are reported.

Pages

E-bulletin

Source e-bulletin on Disability and Inclusion

Subscribe to updates