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Disability and global health: Special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

KUPER, Hannah
POLAK, Sarah
Eds
2019

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Papers included in this special issue are:

 

WHO consolidated guideline on self-care interventions for health: sexual and reproductive health and rights

WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION (WHO)
2019

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SELF-CARE is the ability of individuals, families and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and to cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a health-care provider. 

The purpose of this guidance is to develop a peoplecentred, evidence-based normative guideline that will support individuals, communities and countries with quality health services and self-care interventions, based on PHC (Primary Health Care) strategies, comprehensive essential service packages and people-centredness. The specific objectives of this guideline are to provide:

• evidence-based recommendations on key public health self-care interventions, including for advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), with a focus on vulnerable populations and settings with limited capacity and resources in the health system

• good practice statements on key programmatic, operational and service-delivery issues that need to be addressed to promote and increase safe and equitable access, uptake and use of self-care interventions, including for advancing SRHR.

Seeing the invisible: Sexuality-related knowledge, attitudes and behavior of children and youth with disabilities in China

SHANGHAI INSITITUTE OF PLANNED PARENTHOOD RESEARCH (SIPPR)
UNESCO
HUMANITY & INCLUSION (HI)
2019

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Young people with disabilities have the same right to Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) as their peers without disabilities, but their needs and rights are often overlooked. This study examines the SRH status of young people with disabilities in China. In particular, the study explored the sexuality-related knowledge, attitudes and behaviour of young people with disabilities as well as their access to sexuality-related information, education and services. The findings of the study are intended to provide evidence to support decision-making by government agencies, educators, development workers and other relevant stakeholders regarding developing and implementing disability-inclusive SRH and sexuality education policies and programmes for young people in China.

The study, using quantitative and qualitative methods, was conducted in 2015 among unmarried young persons aged 12 to 24 living with visual, hearing, physical and intellectual disabilities, in both urban and rural areas. The analysis was based on data collected through 707 completed valid questionnaires, 20 group interviews and 35 individual interviews with young people with disabilities, and individual interviews with 60 parents and teachers, along with one case study.

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.

Everybody Matters: Good practices for inclusion of people with disabilities in sexual and reproductive health and rights programmes

Van SLOBBE, Caroline
November 2017

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This publication provides introductory chapters from two activists who work to create better opportunities for people with disabilities in Nigeria and India. Subsequently, the challenges that organisations worldwide have encountered whilst improving the access to and knowledge of sexual and reproductive health and rights for people with disabilities are presented. Ways in which they managed to find solutions and the results achieved are reviewed. Some cases show the importance of a more personal approach whilst others emphasise the advantage of changing systems and policies. Different regions, types of disabilities and various SRHR-topics are reflected in these stories. All cases provide lessons learnt that contribute to a set of recommendations for improved responses. The closing chapter highlights the challenges, solutions, and ambitions that are presented and lead up to a concise overview of recommendations.  

Good practice examples include:

A shift in SRH programming (Nepal)

Breaking Barriers with performance art (Kenya)

Her Body, Her Rights (Ethiopia)

People with disabilities leading the way (Israel Family Planning Association)

Best Wishes for safe motherhood (Nepal)

It’s my body! (Bangladesh)

Calling a spade a spade (Netherlands)

Four joining forces (Colombia)

Change agents with a disability (Zimbabwe)

Tito’s privacy and rights (Argentina)

Sign language for service providers (Kenya)

Spotlight on Sustainable Development Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls - UN WOMEN 2017

UN WOMEN
2017

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Spotlights are made on areas of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5, to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls, and specific targets and indicators are given. The spotlights are on intimate partner violence, harmful practices (including child marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM)), unpaid care and domestic work, women in leadership, sexual and reproductive health and the gender data gap. Data gaps are identified and a five year programme is outlined, Making Every Women and Girl Count, which is designed to provide technical and financial support to countries to improve the production and use of gender statistics in order to monitor the implementation of gender equality commitments in the 2030 Agenda.

Disability and HIV

UNAIDS
January 2017

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This report highlights existing key evidence on the relationship between disability and HIV. It discusses the concrete steps needed for a person-centred, disability-inclusive HIV response that allows for increased participation of people with disabilities and integrates rehabilitation within the continuum of HIV care.

Advancing the access of deafblind women and girls to sexual and reproductive health

VISUAL HEARING IMPAIRMENT MEMBERSHIP ASSOCIATION (VIHEMA)
2017

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Activities to promote the access of deafblind women and girls to sexual and reproductive health are reported via brief descriptions of what happened, what changed and what worked. Activites included: training the deafblind women in their rights;training relatives of deafblind women, giving advice on general care, as well as highlighting the importance of supporting their sexual and reproductive health choices and promoting family planning; tackling the issue of the forced sterilization; awareness raising via newspapers and radio and improving livelihoods.

 

 

Sexual Abuse of Persons with Disabilities - Research

Rob Aley
et al
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 research is framed within the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (UNCRPD), particularly articles 12, 13 and 16.

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.

The overall findings show that social attitudes and understanding of disability and sexuality in general are strong influencing factors on the risks that persons with disability face in relation to sexual abuse. Participants reported a range of harmful attitudes and beliefs about disability and about the needs and rights of persons with disabilities. It is very common for cases of abuse to go unreported and to be dealt with at the family or community level, rather than being viewed as a serious criminal matter which should be taken to the formal authorities. Many barriers exist, especially at community level which mean abuse does not get reported. Lack of awareness and knowledge, stigma and exclusion and poverty were key drivers of continuing abuse and survivors of abuse seldom get proper support. Guidelines, training and clear procedures for good practice in the various professions were generally weak or absent. Key recommendations were generated for both community level interventions and in relation to policy and training at regional and national levels. The practical implementation of some recommendations was undertaken.

Sexual Abuse of Persons with Disabilities - Research

ALEY, Rob
et al
November 2016

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Abstract
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 research is framed within the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (UNCRPD), particularly articles 12, 13 and 16.

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.

The overall findings show that social attitudes and understanding of disability and sexuality in general are strong influencing factors on the risks that persons with disability face in relation to sexual abuse. Participants reported a range of harmful attitudes and beliefs about disability and about the needs and rights of persons with disabilities. It is very common for cases of abuse to go unreported and to be dealt with at the family or community level, rather than being viewed as a serious criminal matter which should be taken to the formal authorities. Many barriers exist, especially at community level which mean abuse does not get reported. Lack of awareness and knowledge, stigma and exclusion and poverty were key drivers of continuing abuse and survivors of abuse seldom get proper support. Guidelines, training and clear procedures for good practice in the various professions were generally weak or absent. Key recommendations were generated for both community level interventions and in relation to policy and training at regional and national levels. The practical implementation of some recommendations was undertaken.

Access to HIV and AIDS care: persons with disabilities still left behind

MAC-SEING, Muriel
October 2015

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This article presents disability-inclusive good practices, policy and program related opportunities. It highlights a series of facts and figures related to people with disabilities and HIV infection and the interaction between HIV and disability.  The article goes on to outline Handicap International’s proposal to “remove HIV-related barriers for persons with disabilities” in a two-track approach that includes decision makers, service providers, and service users. Finally, the article shares discussions of successful inclusive practices involving HIV and persons with disabilities in various communities around the world and the key challenges and opportunities to include disability into HIV and AIDS

Contextual factors around the sexual abuse of people with disability in East Africa

WADDELL, Mary Ann
May 2015

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This literature review on the issue of sexual violence against people in East Africa aims to identify applied research. It contains a synthesis of the knowledge contained in the best selected research, reading notes and an annotated bibliography. The synthesis provides an objective summary of the of the state of the knowledge concerning the sexual abuse of people with disabilities in East Africa

 

Note: report is available in both word and pdf formats from links above

Abuse and denial of sexual and reproductive rights of women with psychosocial disabilities in Mexico

RODRIGUEZ, Priscila
et al
February 2015

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This report presents the situation faced by women with psycho-social conditions in Mexico based on the results of a year-long study. This research included the application of a questionnaire to fifty-one women with psychosocial disabilities who were either members of the Colectivo Chuhcan or received outpatient services at four different health clinics and psychiatric institutions in Mexico City. The main finding of this report is that the Mexican government has failed to implement policies that ensure that women with psychosocial disabilities have safe access to sexual and reproductive health services, on an equal basis with others. It is recommended this research be extended to the rest of the country to gain a clearer picture on the situation of the sexual and reproductive rights of women with disabilities at a national level

African disability rights yearbook

NGWENA, Charles
et al
2015

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This volume of the African Disability Rights Yearbook is divided into three sections presenting articles, country reports and commentaries on regional developments, and has added a new feature in the form of a book review section. The first section (A) of the journal presents a number of articles on issues affecting people with disabilities in Africa, ranging from sexual and reproductive rights to socio-economic issues. Section B presents a number of country reports on Eritrea, Lesotho, Morocco, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Tunisia. Section C presents two articles focussing on regional development; one on disability rights and emergency legislation, and another on the right to political participation for people with disabilities in Africa. Finally the journal presents a review of A.S. Kanter’s 2014 book "The development of disability rights under international law: From charity to human rights"

Volume 3

The sexual and reproductive rights of women and girls with disabilities

FROHMADER, Carolyn
ORTOLEVA, Stephanie
July 2013

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"This Briefing Paper examines the sexual and reproductive rights of women and girls with disabilities in the context of the future development agenda Beyond 2014 and Post 2015"
Issues Paper
ICPD Human Rights Conference on Sexual and Reproductive Health The Hague, Netherlands
7-11 July 2013

Social relationships, sexuality and reproductive rights & persons with disabilities : international workshop report

DEEPAK, Sunil
et al
March 2013

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"This report presents an analysis and an overview of main issues in relation to social relationships, sexuality and reproductive rights that emerged from the different presentations and discussions during the workshop. Most of the discussions and presentations focused on difficulties, barriers and challenges. There were a few positive examples of activities that answer those challenges and overcome those barriers. There were also some ideas of what can be or should be done in this area" “"Going beyond the taboo areas in CBR" workshop, part 1
Agra, India
29 November 2012

A deeper silence : the unheard experiences of women with disabilities : sexual and reproductive health and violence against women in Kiribati, Solomon Islands and Tonga

SPRATT, Joanna
March 2013

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"This report contains information gained in situation analyses exploring the SRH needs of women with disabilities in three Pacific Island countries: Kiribati, Solomon Islands and Tonga. This work was carried out over a four-month period spread out between October 2010 and September 2011. UNFPA undertook these situation analyses to gain greater understanding of the opportunities and needs experiencedby women with disabilities in relation to their ability to realize their sexual and reproductive rights"

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