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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:

 

DFID’s strategy for disability inclusive development 2018-23

December 2018

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The UK Department for International Development (DFID)'s vision is a world where all people with disabilities, women, men, girls and boys, in all stages of their lives, are engaged, empowered and able to exercise and enjoy their rights on an equal basis with others, contributing to poverty reduction, peace and stability. A world where no-one is left behind.

Over the next five years DFID will prioritise four strategic pillars for action: (i) inclusive education, (ii) social protection, (iii) economic empowerment, and (iv) humanitarian action. To complement this focus DFID are adopting three cross-cutting areas, vital to disability inclusion, which will be consistently and systematically addressed in all of their work: (v) tackling stigma and discrimination; (vi) empowering girls and women with disabilities; and (vii) access to appropriate assistive technology.

DFID have introduced a new set of standards for all DFID business units to meet. The standards require all country offices and departments to; review their leadership and culture, engage with people with disabilities, influence others, adapt programming and improve data and evidence.

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. 

The disability data portal

July 2018

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The Disability Data Portal provides a snapshot of the data globally available on people with disabilities in 40 countries. The portal also identifies where there are gaps in the current body of data. 

The portal was designed for the Global Disability Summit, held on 24 July 2018, and focusses on data relating to four thematic areas: inclusive education, stigma and discrimination, technology and innovation, and economic empowerment. 

The portal presents key development indicators relevant to the Summit themes, mostly drawn from the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), along with others relevant to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

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.

Disability stigma in developing countries

ROHWERDER, Brigitte
May 2018

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This K4D helpdesk report, commissioned by UK DFID, answers the question "What are the core drivers behind stereotypes, prejudice (including pity/shame etc), and harmful practices against persons with disabilities in developing countries and what promising strategies/pathways for addressing these drivers have been identified?" using desk research.

 

Across the world stereotypes, prejudice, and stigma contribute to the discrimination and exclusion experienced by people with disabilities and their families in all aspects of their lives. This rapid review looks at available evidence on the drivers of disability stigma in developing countries, and promising strategies for addressing these. Most of the available evidence uncovered by this rapid review comes from Sub-Saharan Africa, and is from a mix of academic and grey literature. Evidence gaps remain. The available literature has focused more on studying the victims of stigmatisation than the stigmatisers. 

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. 

Caregivers' views on stigmatisation and discrimination of people affected by leprosy in Ghana

ASAMPONG, Emmanuel
DAKO-GYEKE, Mavis
ODURO, Razak
January 2018

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In Ghana, the social interpretation of leprosy regardless of the language, culture and tradition engenders stigmatisation and discrimination that leads to social rejection and exclusion of persons who have been cured of the disease. Often, these persons are cared for by relatives who happen to live with them in a confined place. From the views of these caregivers, this paper identifies areas of stigmatising and discriminatory tendencies against people affected by leprosy who reside in a Leprosarium in Accra. A qualitative interview with semi-structured interviews were conducted for twenty caregivers.

From the day they are born: a qualitative study exploring violence against children with disabilities in West Africa

NJELESANI, Bridget
et al
January 2018

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The qualitative study presented in this article describes the violence experienced by children with disabilities in Guinea, Niger, Sierra Leone, and Togo from the perspectives of children, community members, and disability stakeholders. The study contributes to the literature on violence against children with disabilities, which in West Africa is largely nonexistent. 

A qualitative study design guided data generation with a total of 419 children, community members, and disability stakeholders. Participants were selected using purposive sampling. Stakeholders shared their observations of or experiences of violence against children with disabilities in their community in interviews and focus groups


BMC Public Health 18:153 2018

https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-018-5057-x

Disability and HIV

UNAIDS
August 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. Globally, it is estimated that 1 billion people (15% of the world’s population) have a disability. Of those aged over 15 years, approximately 110–190 million (2.2–3.8%) experience significant disabilities. Disability is increasing in prevalence due to ageing populations, trauma, accidents and the increase in chronic health conditions, including HIV. Persistent discrimination against and exclusion of people with disabilities, in particular women and girls with disabilities, increases their vulnerability, including their risk of HIV infection.
 

The right to live independently and be included in the community : Addressing barriers to independent living across the globe

ANGELOVNA-MLADENOVA, Lilia
June 2017

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"This reports looks at the main barriers to the realisation of disabled people’s right to live independently and be included in the community, which is set out in Article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). They are grouped in seven broad areas: (1) misunderstanding and misuse of key terms, (2) negative attitudes and stigma, (3) lack of support for families, (4) prevalence of institutional services, (5) barriers related to community support services, (6) barriers in mainstream services and facilities, and (7) barriers, concerning other CRPD provisions, with effect on Article 19. A set of recommendations is also provided, outlining measures required to address these barriers"

Towards an inclusive judicial system. Penal process and psychosocial disability

Documenta. Analyses and action towards social justice
January 2017

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This report gives a first general insight on barriers people with disabilities are facing when they have to deal with the criminal justice system as accused of having committed a criminal act in the Federal District. Its purpose is to provide a reflection on how the justice system could cope with their special needs in a more appropriate way, to ensure that human rights and access to justice of people with disabilities occur on equal basis with others.

The probability that people with psychosocial disabilities are faced with the criminal justice system is higher than for the rest of the population. This can be explained to a large extent by the existing incomprehension concerning disability, which is even more of an issue when it comes to psychosocial disability as it seems to be one of the less well understood and one of the more stigmatized as well.

In addition to the preconceptions and the lack of capacity building, we may add the existence of a discriminatory penal legislation which keeps on looking at people with disabilities as if they weren’t subject with rights and obligations, but insists on an anachronistic vision that looks at them as objects requiring treatment and cure.

Mental health and human rights : Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

OFFICE OF THE HIGH COMMISIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
January 2017

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"The present report, mandated by the Human Rights Council in resolution 32/18, identifies some of the major challenges faced by users of mental health services, persons with mental health conditions and persons with psychosocial disabilities. These include stigma and discrimination, violations of economic, social and other rights and the denial of autonomy and legal capacity.

In the report, the High Commissioner recommends a number of policy shifts, which would support the full realisation of the human rights of those populations, such as the systematic inclusion of human rights in policy and the recognition of the individual’s autonomy, agency and dignity. Such changes cover measures to improve the quality of mental health service delivery, to put an end to involuntary treatment and institutionalisation and to create a legal and policy environment that is conducive to the realisation of the human rights of persons with mental health conditions and psychosocial disabilities"

A/HRC/34/32

Human Rights Council, Thirty-fourth session, 27 February-24 March 2017

Toolkit for understanding and challenging leprosy related stigma for Civil Society Organisations in India

JOY, Anish
et al
2017

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This toolkit is intended primarily for use by CSO's at the community level in India for use with field workers and local governments for challenging stigma and discrimination against people affected by leprosy/disabilities. The toolkit uses simple activities and pictures and is based on a participatory approach which requires active involvement of the group being trained. There are 6 modules:

What is leprosy

What is stigma

How we stigmatise others

How it feels to be stigmatised

Understanding human rights

Action towards inclusion

There are 10 appendices providing supporting information for the toolkit  

African Disability Rights Yearbook volume 5 2017

NGWENA, Charles
et al
2017

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This volume of the African Disability Rights Yearbook is divided into four sections presenting articles, country reports, commentaries on regional developments and a book review. The first section A of the journal presents a number of articles on issues affecting people with disabilities in Africa, ranging from education and rights of children with disabilities to albinism. Section B presents country reports on Djibouti and Madagascar. Section C presents two articles: one on mental health and the other on disability rights developments in the East African Community post-2012. Finally a review of E. Barnes’s 2016 book "The minority body: A theory of disability" is given.

 

Triple jeopardy : tackling the discrimination facing girls and women with leprosy

GRIFFEY, Harriet
Eds
March 2015

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This report examines the triple discrimination situation faced by women and girls with leprosy in developing countries, because of their gender, the disabilities that can result from the disease and the impact of its stigma. Studies also show that in some countries they are less likely than men to be diagnosed early, and so are at greater risk of developing a lifelong disability. This report shows what can be done to achieve access to treatment and a better outcome for girls and women affected by leprosy

Mental illness, poverty and stigma in India : a case-control study

TRANI, J F
BAKHSHI, P
KUHLBERG, J
NARAYANAN, S S
VENKATARAMAN, H
MISHRA, N N
GROCE, N
JADHAV, S
DESHPANDE, S
January 2015

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The effect of experienced stigma on depth of multidimensional poverty of persons with severe mental illness (PSMI) in Delhi, India, controlling for gender, age and caste was assessed. A case–control study was conducted from November 2011 to June 2012. 647 cases diagnosed with schizophrenia or affective disorders were recruited and 647 individuals of same age, sex and location of residence were matched as controls at a ratio of 1:2:1. Conclusions: Public stigma and multidimensional poverty linked to SMI are pervasive and intertwined. In particular for low caste and women, it is a strong predictor of poverty. Exclusion from employment linked to negative attitudes and lack of income are the highest contributors to multidimensional poverty, increasing the burden for the family.

Caring for people with intellectual disabilities in poor rural communities in Cambodia : experience from ADD International

CORDIER, Sylvie
October 2014

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This article explores the impact of ADD International’s project in Cambodia, which aimed to support communities to learn more about persons with intellectual disabilities and support them in their daily life. The article has a particular focus on how this work affected carers, the majority of whom are women

Gender & Development, 22:3

Social participation of diabetes and ex-leprosy patients in the Netherlands and patient preference for combined self-care groups

DE VRIES, Henry JC
DE GROOT, Roos
VAN BRAKEL, Wim H
August 2014

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This study compared the social constraints of diabetic patients and ex-leprosy patients and investigated combined self-care groups for ex-leprosy patients and diabetic patients. The physical complications and social problems in ex-leprosy and diabetic patients with neuropathy are similar. Despite the fact that diabetic patients preferred disease-specific, homogeneous self-care groups, the authors believe that the option of combined groups is a promising strategy. Therefore, further research is warranted into the acceptance and impact of self-care groups as a strategy to reduce social constraints by diseases causing neuropathy 

Frontiers in Medicine, Vol 1

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