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Policy Brief: COVID-19 and People on the Move

UNITED NATIONS
June 2020

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COVID-19 leaves few lives and places untouched. But its impact is harshest for those groups who were already in vulnerable situations before the crisis. This is particularly true for many people on the move, such as migrants in irregular situations, migrant workers with precarious livelihoods, or working in the informal economy, victims of trafficking in persons as well as people fleeing their homes because of persecution, war, violence, human rights violations or disaster, whether within their own countries — internally displaced persons (IDPs) — or across international borders — refugees and asylum-seekers.

 

The disproportionate impact of the COVID19 pandemic on people on the move presents itself as three interlocking crises, exacerbating existing vulnerabilities: a health crisis; a socio-economic crisis and a protection crisis.

 

This Policy Brief offers four basic tenets to guide collective response:

  • Exclusion is costly in the long-run whereas inclusion pays off for everyone
  • The response to COVID-19 and protecting the human rights of people on the move are not mutually exclusive
  • No-one is safe until everyone is safe
  • People on the move are part of the solution

COVID-19 in humanitarian contexts: no excuses to leave persons with disabilities behind! Evidence from HI's operations in humanitarian settings

HUMANITY & INCLUSION (HI)
June 2020

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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

Disability Inclusive Development - Tanzania Situational Analysis

ROHWERDER, Brigitte
June 2020

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This situational analysis (SITAN) addresses the question: “what is the current situation for persons with disabilities in Tanzania?”. It has been prepared for the Disability Inclusive Development programme (which works on access to education, jobs, healthcare, and reduced stigma and discrimination for persons with disabilities in Bangladesh, Jordan, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, and Tanzania), to better understand the current context, including COVID-19, and available evidence in Tanzania. It will be helpful for anyone interested in disability inclusion in Tanzania, especially in relation to stigma, employment, education, health, and humanitarian issues. This SITAN has been briefly updated from the April 2019 SITAN.

Disability Inclusive Development - Kenya Situational Analysis

ROHWERDER, Brigitte
June 2020

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This situational analysis (SITAN) addresses the question: “what is the current situation for persons with disabilities in Kenya?”. It has been prepared for the Disability Inclusive Development programme (which works on access to education, jobs, healthcare, and reduced stigma and discrimination for persons with disabilities in Bangladesh, Jordan, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, and Tanzania), to better understand the current context, including COVID-19, and available evidence in Kenya. It will be helpful for anyone interested in disability inclusion in Kenya, especially in relation to stigma, employment, education, health, and humanitarian issues. This SITAN has been briefly updated from the April 2019 SITAN.

COVID-19 Preparedness and response protection of groups at disproportionate risk – Yemen

PROTECTION CLUSTER YEMEN
May 2020

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Steps are described that support the implementation of mitigation measures to help prevent, reduce and respond to risks of exclusion and/or disproportionate impact on vulnerable groups. The mitigation measures aim to promote the protection of all groups during the pandemic (throughout the various phases of prevention and response) and contribute to alleviating the impact of the changing dynamics on the protection environment of the most vulnerable.

 

Groups highlighted to be at disproportionate protection risk include internally displaced people (IDPs) in IDP hosting sites, Muhamasheen (marginalized communities), refugees, migrants and asylum seekers, people with disabilities, women and girls

Protection analysis: impact of COVID-19 measures on PSNs in refugee communities in Uganda

PERSONS WITH SPECIFIC NEEDS SUB-WORKING GROUP, UGANDA
May 2020

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The Persons with Specific Needs (PSN) sub working group is a collective of over 20 organisations including UN agencies, NGOs, Disabled Peoples Organizations (DPOs), and Government (Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development and Office of the Prime Minister) which regularly meets within the Uganda refugee coordination model to discuss issues relevant to refugees with specific needs, with a particular focus on persons with disabilities and older persons.

 

April 2020 the PSN SWG members started to collect evidence from a range of sources on the specific impact of the COVID-19 crisis and containment measures on PSNs within refugee communities in Uganda.

Operationalizing standards: Sphere and the COVID-19 response in camp settings

INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF PROFESSIONALS IN HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE AND PROTECTION (PHAP)
April 2020

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In this webinar, organized by the CCCM Cluster and PHAP, we learn about COVID-19 prevention measures critical to the work of Camp Managers and others working in displacement settings. We hear from WASH specialists, as well as experienced Camp program staff who have recently been involved in setting up special measures to prevent the spread of disease and develop key messages for populations living in temporary settlements. A representative from Sphere also provided guidance for how the Sphere Handbook can be a useful tool for practitioners in this situation.

Interim Guidance: Scaling-up COVID-19 outbreak readiness and response operations in humanitarian situations. Including camps and camp-like settings Version 1.1

IFRC
IOM
UNHCR
WHO
April 2020

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It is of extreme importance from a protection, human-rights and public health perspectives, that people affected by humanitarian crises are included in all COVID-19 outbreak readiness and response strategies, plan and operations. There is a strong public health rationale to extend all measures to everyone, regardless of status and ensuring inclusiveness. This Interim Guidance addresses specific needs and considerations required in humanitarian situations, including camps and camp-like settings and the surrounding host communities, in scaling-up readiness and response operations for the COVID-19 outbreak through effective multi-sectoral partnership

COVID-19: Incluisve programming – Ensuring assistance and protection addresses the needs of marginalised and at-risk people

INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS (ICRC)
March 2020

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This paper brings together guidance and messages from the ICRC’s Operations Diversity Inclusion, Sexual Violence and Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse teams, in collaboration with the Global Adviser on Children. Its purpose is to support the ICRC’s delegations and métiers in their response to COVID-19. The guidance focuses on the initial phases of the response, including contingency planning, adapting and possibly scaling back current activities and strengthening and establishing new activities and partnerships to respond to the virus in the humanitarian contexts in which it works

COVID-19 and International Humanitarian Law

INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS (ICRC)
March 2020

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International humanitarian law (IHL) is a key legal framework that provides crucial safeguards to people affected by armed conflicts. This overview summarizes some of the main provisions of IHL that may be particularly relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic

Agenda for Humanity

OCHA
2020

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The Agenda for Humanity sets out five major areas for action and change, the 5 Core Responsibilities, that are needed to address and reduce humanitarian need, risk and vulnerability, and 24 key transformations that will help achieve them.

Disability inclusion annual report 2019

UNITED NATIONS RELIEF AND WORKS AGENCY FOR PALESTINE REFUGEES IN THE NEAR EAST
December 2019

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United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) adopts a twin-track approach to ensure the full inclusion of Palestine refugees with disabilities. This entails ‘disability mainstreaming’, whereby all UNRWA programmes and services are universally designed to ensure that they are usable by and/or reach beneficiaries with disabilities, coupled with the provision of ‘targeted/tailored interventions’. During 2019, UNRWA implemented the following activities to address the specific needs of Palestine refugees with disabilities:

  • Direct Specialized Services for Persons with Disabilities
  • Disability Inclusion through Programmes
  • International Cooperation

Bridging the mobile disability gap in refugee settings

DOWNER, Matthew
September 2019

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This case study highlights refugees with disabilities’ access to mobile services and the benefits and challenges associated with using these services in three different humanitarian contexts. The analysis is based on a representative survey of refugees in three contexts: Bidi Bidi refugee settlement (Uganda), Kiziba refugee camp (Rwanda) and with urban refugees in Jordan. It also includes qualitative data drawn from two focus groups conducted with refugees with disabilities in Bidi Bidi and Kiziba. The survey used the Washington Group Questions (WGQs) to assess prevalence of disability amongst the refugee population

Rapid review of the inclusion of people with disabilities and older people in gender-based violence (GBV) humanitarian interventions

PEARCE, Emma
MURRAY, Sinead
REIS, Chen
May 2019

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VOICE has partnered with Elrha to conduct a rapid review to:

1. Improve understanding of how people with disabilities and older people are included in GBV interventions;

2. Assess how strategies for DOAI are aligned with the recently published Humanitarian Inclusion Standards (HIS) for Older People and People with Disabilities;

3. Identify and document positive practice examples of inclusion of people with disabilities and older people in GBV interventions.

 

The VOICE review team collected qualitative and quantitative data through a range of methodologies, including a desk review of formal and grey literature such as programme documentation, and key informant interviews with key stakeholders.​

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