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Women and girls with disabilities. Needs of survivors of gender based violence and services offered to them

BURGHAL, Waseem
March 2019

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This study on GBV among women and girls with disabilities was conducted by UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund) with the support of Denmark in the context of the GBV Sub-Cluster Strategy 2018-2020. It was based on a needs analysis and mapping of services offered to women and girls with disabilities aged 15 and older who are survivors of gender-based violence (GBV) in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, particularly in view of the poor protection, care and social services available to women survivors of violence. Its objective was to map the available services; analyze major gaps and challenges related to service delivery; identify roles and responsibilities of stakeholders and service providers, including stakeholder coordination, legislation and policies, capacity, prevention and response services, the referral process and accountability; as well as to make recommendations and propose interventions to address the weaknesses in the protection system for women and girls with disabilities in Palestine.

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. 

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.

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. 

Measuring the prevalence of violence against women with disabilities

VAUGHAN, Cathy
et al
February 2018

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This short report summarises discussions during a meeting concerning what is known about violence against women with disabilities and the evidence gaps, with a focus on Asia and the Pacific. It includes a brief overview of the current situation and suggested ways forward for researchers, the kNOwVAWdata initiative and other regional and global initiatives to measure prevalence of violence against women with disabilities, and for relevant regional and national institutions

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.

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. 

Hear my voice: old age and disability are not a curse. A community-based participatory study gathering the lived experiences of persons with disabilities and older people in Tanzania

MRISHO, Mwifadhi
FAKIH, Bakar
GREENWOOD, Margo
STEFF, Marion
2016

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Community based participatory research (CBPR) was used to provide evidence on the specific nature and experiences of persons with disabilities and older people from their own perspectives in Tanzania, through the lens of social, political, economic and cultural inclusion. The aim was to strengthen efforts to provide services for and improve the lives of people living in the rural and urban settings of Nachingwea and Kibaha Urban Municipal Council. Twenty-nine peer researchers (nine persons with disabilities, 10 older people and 10 Tanzanian Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) members working in these communities) were involved in the study. A total of 106 stories were collected. Eight priority areas emerged and were chosen by peer researchers for further discussion in groups: access to education and quality learning; access to health services; issues fed back from NGOs; poverty relating to income and dependence; attitudes towards witchcraft and albinism; relationship difficulties and marriage breakdowns; sexual violence and gender issues; poor treatment from family
 

Violence against children with disabilities : legislation, policies and programmes in the EU

EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY FORUM (EDF)
December 2015

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This report "outlines relevant international and European standards and reviews national legislation and policies addressing violence against children with disabilities. The report also explores the extent and different causes, settings and forms of such violence, and presents measures and initiatives to prevent it”

Available in easy-read version from the web link provided

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

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

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

Strengthening communities to integrate persons with disabilities in the HIV and AIDS response in Rwanda

DELEU, Marijke
May 2013

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"This document aims to capture some of the key lessons learned from Handicap International’s New Partnership Initiative project in Rwanda, which started in 2008 with the objective to integrate persons with disabilities in HIV and Sexual Violence (SV) prevention efforts and service provision generally. It is the result of qualitative, multi-stakeholder study about how change occurred within the project and how the experience could be modelled for adaptation or replication in Rwanda or other contexts"
SD/LL 08

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"

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"

UNHCR mental health and psychosocial support for persons of concern

MEYER, Sarah
2013

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"This evaluation reports on how well the United Nations High Commission for Refugees considers and provides for the well-being and mental health of persons of concern to the agency. Through a survey of UNHCR field staff, extensive literature and policy review, and key informant interviews with MHPSS experts from academic institutions, international agencies and non-governmental organizations, this review provides insight into how UNHCR’s current activities contribute towards improved mental health and psychosocial well-being of displaced persons and how UNHCR’s current policy frameworks relate to established practices and frameworks in the MHPSS field"

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