Recent evidence suggests that the individual prevalence rate of persons with disabilities living in Syria, aged 12 years and above is 27%. This brief guidance note covers: Risks faced by persons with disabilities in the COVID-19 outbreak; Protection risks for specific groups of persons with disabilities during the COVID-19 outbreak; Upholding the rights of persons with disabilities in relation to the COVID-19 response; and Recommendations: Inclusion in the COVID-19 response
Evidence is emerging that persons with disabilities are being disproportionately affected by the Coronavirus pandemic and emergency measures being taken by governments worldwide. As governments rush to respond to the virus, it is more critical than ever to guarantee that measures taken are fully inclusive of persons with disabilities and prevent human rights violations from taking place.
With the endorsements of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health, Mr Dainius Pūras, and the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Ms Catalina Devandas Aguilar, a coalition of six disability rights organisations is today launching a major international monitoring initiative entitled “COVID-19 Disability Rights Monitor” to conduct rapid independent monitoring of state measures concerning persons with disabilities. The first element of this global initiative is the launch of two surveys requesting official information from governments and requesting the testimonies of persons with disabilities and their representative organisations. The surveys aim to collect information about what states are doing to protect core rights of persons with disabilities including the rights to life, access to health and essential services.
This guidance aims to:
- bring awareness of the pandemic’s impact on persons with disabilities and their rights;
- draw attention to some promising practices already being undertaken around the world;
- identify key actions for States and other stakeholders;
- provide resources for further learning about ensuring rights based COVID-19 responses inclusive of persons with disabilities.
1. What is the impact of COVID-19 on the right to health of persons with disabilities
2. What is the impact of COVID-19 on persons with disabilities who are living in institutions
3. What is the impact of COVID-19 on the rights of persons with disabilities to live in the community
4. What is the impact of COVID-19 on work income and livelihood of persons with disabilities
5. What is the impact of COVID-19 on the right to education of persons with disabilities
6. What is the impact of COVID-19 on the right of persons with disabilities to protections from violence
7. What is the impact of COVID-19 on specific population groups in which persons with disabilities are overrepresented
Everyday barriers that Afghan women and girls with disabilities face are described. Decades of conflict have decimated government institutions and development efforts have failed to reach many communities most in need. Obtaining access to health care, education, and employment, along with other basic rights, is particularly difficult for Afghan women and girls with disabilities, who face both gender discrimination and stigma and barriers associated with their disability.
This report is based primarily on research by Human Rights Watch researchers from April 2018 through January 2020 in Kabul, Mazar-e Sharif, and Herat, Afghanistan. 23 interviews with women with disabilities and 3 interviews with family members of women and girls with disabilities were conducted. 14 healthcare and education professionals were interviewed, including representatives from the United Nations and international and local nongovernmental organizations providing services to persons with disabilities in Afghanistan
On April 10th 2020 the European Disability Forum (EDF) organised a two hours webinar about the COVID-19 pandemic and what challenges are persons with disabilities are facing. The speakers shared how persons with disabilities are experiencing the measures adopted by the different countries when these don’t take into consideration a disability perspective.
This webinar was conducted by André Félix, EDF External Communications Coordinator and was supported by Raquel Riaza, Events and Administration Officer and by other colleagues from EDF‘s office. The webinar was accessible for persons with disabilities providing live captioning and international sign language interpretation. It was recorded and a transcript is available
Background: Persons with disabilities are generally at greater risk of experiencing violence than their peers without a disability. Within the sphere of disability, individuals with severe communication disabilities are particularly vulnerable and have an increased risk of being a victim of abuse or violence and typically turn to their country’s criminal justice system to seek justice. Unfortunately, victims with disabilities are often denied fair and equal treatment before the court. Transformative equality should be pursued when identifying accommodations in court for persons with communication disabilities, as the aim should be to enable such individuals to participate equally in court, without barriers and discrimination.
Objectives: This research aimed to identify court accommodations recommended by legal experts, which could assist individuals with severe communication disabilities in the South African court.
Method: A qualitative design was used to conduct a discussion with a panel of legal experts.
Results: Using Article 13 (Access to Justice) of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) as a human rights framework, four themes were identified: equality, accommodations, participation and training of professionals.
Conclusion: Foreign and national law clearly prohibits discrimination against persons with communication disabilities because of their disability and state that they should be given fair and equal access to the court system. For transformative equality to be achieved, certain rules and laws need to be changed to include specific accommodations for persons with communication disabilities so that they may be enabled to participate effectively in court in the criminal justice system.
African Journal of Disability, Vol 9, 2020
This document provides recommendations for rapid response solutions for federal and state governments to close the real and anticipated gaps in the COVID-19 outbreak and public health emergency-related continuity of operation for people with disabilities, older adults, and people with access and functional needs. Our recommendations include contingency plans for disability and aging services, supports, and programs funded directly with federal or state funds or through federal assistance to state, local, tribal and territorial governments and non-government providers.
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
A coalition of disability rights and emergency management experts from across the USA issued an urgent call to action for immediate strategies and solutions from the federal government and governments at every level, including local, state, tribal and territorial, to address the specific needs of persons with disabilities throughout the COVID-19 outbreak and all public health emergencies.
The International Rescue Committee has been working in Tanzania with persons with disabilities in Nyarugusu refugee camp and the surrounding host community in Kasulu district since 2015. The IRC’s These Rights are Mine (TRM) project – a 30-month project funded by the European Commissions Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) – uses a rights-based approach to ensure that persons with disabilities are able to claim their rights and that government authorities and civil society organizations acting on their behalf are able to deliver on these rights. This survey aims to establish baseline information about disability rights in the IRC’s area of operations, assessing the needs of persons with disabilities as well as barriers faced by them in everyday life
The extent of the effect of poverty and social exclusion on persons with disabilities in the EU was examined
The report shows how, in all EU countries, persons with disabilities are more likely to be poor and unemployed than persons without disabilities. It presents actions that the EU, it's Member States and other European Countries should take to improve the situation.
This book is an anthropological urban study of the Emirate of Dubai, its institutions, and their evolution. It provides a contemporary history of disability in city planning from a non-Western perspective and explores the cultural context for its positioning. Three insights inform the author’s approach. First, disability research, much like other urban or social issues, must be situated in a particular place. Second, access and inclusion forms a key part of both local and global planning issues. Third, a 21st century planning education should take access and inclusion into consideration by applying a disability lens to the empirical, methodological, and theoretical advances of the field
Combining a comparative analysis of equal rights in the constitutions of all 193 countries with inspiring stories of activism and powerful court cases from around the globe, the book traces the trends in constitution drafting over the past half century, and examines how stronger protections against discrimination have transformed lives. Looking at equal rights across gender, race and ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity, disability, social class, and migration status, the authors uncover which groups are increasingly guaranteed equal rights in constitutions, whether these rights on paper have been translated into practice, and which nations and protections from discrimination lag behind
A new era focused on the inclusion of disabled people in society has emerged in recent years around the world. The emergence of this particular discourse of inclusion can be traced to the 1980s, when disabled people worldwide gathered in Singapore to form Disabled Peoples’ International (DPI) and adopted a language of the social model of disability to challenge their exclusion in society. This paper examines the responses of disabled people in Singapore in the decade in and around the formation of DPI. As the social model and disability rights took hold in Singapore, disabled people in Singapore began to advocate for their equal participation in society. In mapping some of the contestations in the 1980s, I expose the logics prevailing in society and how disabled people in Singapore argued for their inclusion in society as well as its implications for our understanding of inclusion in Singapore today.
Disability & the Global South (DGS), 2020, Vol. 7 No. 1
- Decolonising inclusive education: an example from a research in Colombia
- At the Margins of Society: Disability Rights and Inclusion in 1980s Singapore
- Universal Notions of Development and Disability: Towards Whose Imagined Vision?
- Decolonizing inclusive education: A collection of practical inclusive CDS- and DisCrit-informed teaching practices implemented in the global South
Ongoing debates around fetal impairment as a legal basis for abortion act as a wedge issue between the disability rights and reproductive rights movements. Disability rights advocates are concerned that laws that expressly permit abortion on grounds of fetal impairment codify the notion that disabled lives are worth less than non-disabled lives. Reproductive rights advocates are concerned that reforming abortion laws to remove fetal impairment grounds—or to expressly ban abortion in the case of a fetal impairment diagnosis—will result in less access to safe abortion and exacerbate the attendant human rights consequences. These tensions are fueled both by advocacy strategies to advance abortion rights that can reinforce harmful disability-related stereotypes and by opponents of abortion rights co-opting disability rights language to impose greater restrictions on abortion access.
Women with disabilities, who live at the intersection of these two movements, care deeply about both protecting reproductive autonomy, including the right to access safe abortion, and dismantling harmful disability-related stigma. Too often, however, their voices are left out of the debate. To remedy this lack of voice and representation in these ongoing debates, Women Enabled International (WEI) conducted a series of consultations with 40 persons with diverse disabilities, who have the biological capacity to become pregnant, and who advocate at the intersection of gender and disability. These consultations provided a safe space in which these advocates from around the globe could discuss specific concerns around this historic tension.
In this framing document, WEI identifies the primary concerns of the women with disabilities who participated in these consultations—as well as the primary concerns of the disability rights and the reproductive rights movements, analyzes the human rights standards that underpin this debate, and applies an intersectional human rights-based approach to posit a way forward.
Through a conversation with panelists, the Disability Inclusion 101: Basic Concepts and Approaches webinar seeks to address the following topics:
- Understanding the concept of disability: who are persons with disabilities?
- What is the human rights-based approach to disability?
- Universal design, accessibility, and reasonable accommodation
- The twin-track approach: combining disability-targeted initiatives with disability inclusion in mainstream initiatives
- What is an organization of persons with disabilities and how to engage with them
Opening Speaker: USG Ana Maria Menéndez, Senior Advisor on Policy to the Secretary-General
Mr. Facundo Chavez Penillas, Human Rights & Disability Advisor, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
Ms. Charlotte Vuyiswa McClain-Nhlapo, Global Disability Advisor, World Bank
Mr. Stefan Tromel, Senior Disability Inclusion Specialist, International Labour Organization (ILO)
Ms. Elham Yussefian, Inclusive Humanitarian and DRR Advisor, International Disability Alliance
The webinar was moderated and facilitated by Mr. Gopal Mitra, Senior Social Affairs Officer, and Ms. Georgia Dominik, Social Affairs Officer, Disability Team, Executive Office of the Secretary-General (EOSG).
The Bond Disability and Development Group (DDG) has commissioned this learning paper to summarise discussions which took place at the DDG’s Data Lab workshop, held in London on 22 October 2019, and to be used as a reference document going forward. This first workshop focused on why organisations need to collect disability data; what tools are available and practical ways in which these can be used. This learning paper provides a summary of these discussions and can act as a guide and reference tool for organisations looking to be more inclusive in their programming, generally, and in their data collection practices, specifically. A number of case studies and numerous resource references are provided.
Entering its fifth year, the conflict in Yemen, which has been marked by serious violations and crimes under international law, has had a disproportionate impact on persons with disabilities. Based on 96 interviews, this report documents how the war has affected the ability of 53 persons with disabilities, 31 of whom were displaced, to access and equally enjoy their human rights. This report documents how persons with disabilities have endured unequal access to quality health services, education and employment opportunities as well as the challenges they face fleeing violence and living in displacement
Two advocacy tools associated with the new African Union (AU) Protocol to the Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities have been developed: what is new for African women and girls with disabilities; and what is new for African children, youth and older people with disabilities. The new protocols are localised, progressive, intersectional and gender inclusive
The tools are available in short from (2 pages) or long form (4 pages) which provide details of the specific rights articles and definitions
Making It Work developed the new advocacy tool with COVAW, FIDA-Kenya and UDPK
Source e-bulletin on Disability and Inclusion