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Security Council unanimously adopts resolution 2475 (2019), Ground-breaking text on protection of persons with disabilities in conflict

UNITED NATIONS
October 2019

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The Security Council adopted its first-ever resolution calling upon Member States and parties to armed conflict to protect persons with disabilities in conflict situations and to ensure they have access to justice, basic services and unimpeded humanitarian assistance.

By the terms of resolution 2475 (2019), the 15-member Council called upon all parties to armed conflict to allow and facilitate safe, timely and unimpeded humanitarian access to all people in need of assistance.  It further urged them to prevent violence and abuses against civilians in situations of armed conflict, including those involving in killing and maiming, abduction and torture, as well as rape and other forms of sexual violence in conflict and post-conflict situations.

Protection of civilians in armed conflict (S/2019/373) [EN/AR/RU]

UNHCR SECRETARY GENERAL
May 2019

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The present report is submitted pursuant to the request contained in the statement by the President of the Security Council of 21 September 2018 (S/PRST/2018/18). It also responds to the Council’s requests for reporting on the protection of medical care and on conflict and food insecurity, contained in resolutions 2286 (2016) and 2417 (2018), respectively. Section II provides a summary of achievements and challenges to the United Nations work on protecting civilians over the past 20 years. Section III reviews the current state of the protection of civilians and emphasizes the enduring relevance of the protection agenda 20 years on. Section IV focuses on the central challenge of enhancing respect for the law – the first of three protection priorities identified in the report of 2017 (S/2017/414) and discussed in the report of 2018 (S/2018/462) – with a particular focus on the conduct of hostilities. Section V discusses how the Council and Member States can rise to meet this challenge and, moreover, strengthen the practical impact of the protection agenda in the years ahead.

Study on explosive hazard victim reporting and data management processes in Iraq

NIJHOLT, Sarah
April 2019

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Handicap International (HI) commissioned a study on on explosive hazard victim reporting and data management processes in Iraq. The overall objectives of the study were to:

  • Understand what explosive hazard victim reporting and data management processes exist in Iraq;
  • Identify who is collecting such information, for which reasons and how it is being shared, and how it is being officially used;
  • Identify whether international victim data collection good practices and reporting standards are being followed up, and make concrete recommendations to help meet the standards;
  • Understand the successes, shortfalls, and challenges in data collection and information sharing;
  • Identify the needs of the data collection community in terms of ensuring sufficient victim reporting and data collection;
  • Identify if and how the data on victims is being collected and used by government authorities and the international fora.

 

Desk research was carried out and data collection took place in March 2019 in Erbil, Baghdad and Ninewa governorates in Iraq. In total, the qualitative researcher spent 3 days in Erbil, 4 days in Baghdad, and 6 days in Ninewa governorate to conduct interviews through a snowball approach. In total, 22 interviews were conducted with a variety of stakeholders, including humanitarian mine action actors, government officials, hospital directors, police and community leaders. This report provides an overview of the main findings.

Geneva Academy briefing on Disability and armed conflict 2019

PRIDDY, Alice
April 2019

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This publication brings attention to the devastating impact conflict has on persons with disabilities and, crucially, highlights that many of the key international humanitarian law (IHL) provisions that serve to minimize the impact of armed conflict – such as the proportionality assessment and advanced effective warnings – are not being applied in a disability inclusive manner, resulting in persons with disabilities being killed, seriously injured or left behind as families flee armed attacks.

 

Research methods included a combination of: desk research; structured interviews with persons with disabilities and their representative organizations, NGOs and humanitarian personnel; and field workshops through which feedback was sought on discrete issues. 

 

The project focused on the situation of persons with disabilities in five states experiencing different levels of armed conflict or its aftermath (the DRC, Colombia, Palestine, Ukraine and Vietnam). These states were selected because they are all States Parties to the CRPD, and they represent a diverse range of regions and cultures, differing types of conflicts (including the involvement of ANSAs), different stages of conflict or post-conflict situations, differing levels of economic development and varying levels of international assistance

Responding to the humanitarian needs of today, Preparing for the Syrian response tomorrow

HUMANITY & INCLUSION (HI)
February 2019

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A briefing paper concerning refugees and displaced people in Syria.

 

Recommendations are made covering 

Individual issues briefs are available for some of these 

The waiting list. Addressing the immediate and long-term needs of victims of explosive weapons in Syria

O'REILLY, Claire
et al
2019

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This report looks at the challenges linked to the use of explosive weapons in the Syrian context for the provision of adequate immediate assistance and to plan for mid- to long-term assistance to the victims of explosive violence, to ensure their full recovery and inclusion into society. It is based on data and testimonies collected from humanitarian agencies, actors and patients across all areas of control in Syria. The testimony of Farah, a Syrian girl injured during the bombing of her school, and of her mother, is shared throughout the report to illustrate the challenges faced by victims. 

This report was compiled from June to August 2019 and relies on multiple sources, including review of both gray and academic literature, published and unpublished data from INGOs working in Syria response, firsthand interviews with patients and Syrian humanitarians working both inside Syria and from cross-border locations, and expatriate staff from INGOs and UN agencies. Interviews were conducted at a distance during June and July 2019 with 12 individuals, among which: 2 patients; 3 mine action operators; 4 medical staff, and 3 humanitarian workers 

Paediatric blast injury field manual

THE PAEDIATRIC BLAST INJURY PARTNERSHIP
2019

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The Field Manual has been created to provide technical guidance for those with medical training.  It enables the user to adapt their knowledge to the treatment of severely injured children.  It has paediatric-specific sections on:

  • Pre-hospital care and transport
  • Damage control resuscitation, surgery and intensive care
  • Surgery (thoraco-abdominal, limb, burns)
  • Neurological injury
  • Ward care
  • Rehabilitation
  • Psychosocial support
  • Ethics and safeguarding

The Manual is also intended for use by anyone who is required to plan for the treatment of severely injured children, so they can see the resources, training and equipment that is required in a medical facility likely to receive blast injured children.

Blast injuries. The impact of explosive weapons on children in conflict

DENSELOW, James
SALARKIA, Keyan
EDWARDS, Jess
2019

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This report covers children's exposure to blasts, children's unique vulnerability to blast injury (head, torso, burns and long term effects) and why children are exposed to blast.

Across five of the deadliest conflicts for children in 2017, an estimated 72% of child casualties were due to blasts. Using UN data for Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, Nigeria and Iraq we can see that of the 7,364 children killed or maimed in conflict in 2017, at least 5,322 were linked to blasts.

Landmine Monitor 2018

INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN TO BAN LANDMINES – CLUSTER MUNITION COALITION (ICBL-CMC)
November 2018

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Landmine Monitor 2018 provides a global overview of the landmine situation. Chapters on developments in specific countries and other areas are available in online Country Profiles. Landmine Monitor covers mine ban policy, use, production, trade, and stockpiling, and also includes information on contamination, clearance, casualties, victim assistance, and support for mine action. The report focuses on calendar year 2017, with information included up to November 2018 when possible.

 

The Victim Assistance section covers: assessing the needs; frameworks for assistance; enhancing plans and policies; inclusion and active participation of mine victims; availability of and accessibility to services; guaranteeing rights in an age- and gender-sensitive manner; national legal frameworks and broader frames for assistance.

 

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. 

An integrated approach to victim assistance in Cambodia & the role of Australia as supporting state

De BEAUPUIS, Gaetan
HOTTENOT, Elke
November 2018

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The objective of this case study was to review how Cambodia, as an affected state, and Australia as a donor, promote the provision of victim assistance in sectors including health, rehabilitation, disability, socio-economic development and poverty reduction. It documents promising practices and proposes next steps to ensure the sustainability of victim assistance provision in the near and long-term future. This study aims to inspire the mine action community in both affected and donor states to increase its contribution to victim assistance. This case study focuses on both prongs of the integrated approach to victim assistance by describing: i) Broader multi-sector efforts that reach casualties, survivors and indirect victims; and ii) Specific victim assistance efforts to improve victims’ quality of life deployed by mine action stakeholders, other actors in charge of coordinating victim assistance in Cambodia, and Australia as a donor state. An analysis of these specific efforts revealed that they fall into one of two of the following categories: a) Bridging gaps in data collection and service provision, or b) Advocating for, and facilitating, a multisector response.

 

Humanity & Inclusion (HI) and the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA) conducted the study in November 2017 in seven provinces. The methodology comprised three steps: a desk review of project documents, national plans and policies from a range of sectors with a focus on programmes funded by Australia; interviews with key personnel from the mine action and the disability sectors; and a field survey comprising 31 individual indepth interviews with 19 survivors and 12 other persons with disabilities (23 male and 8 female), 12 focus group discussions as well as field visits to observe the initiatives described in this publication. 

 

 

Removing barriers - The path towards inclusive access. Disability assessment among Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon. Lebanon report

ASAI, Yahoko
et al
July 2018

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Humanity & Inclusion (HI) and iMMAP conducted a study concerned with the lack of disability data in the Syria crisis context,  which aimed to:

  • Provide statistically reliable prevalence of disability as well as disability disaggregated data indicators on access to services.
  • Increase understanding of the situation of Syrian refugees with disabilities and their households, compared to their peers without disabilities, in relation to the access to services including education, and key barriers experienced in accessing these services.
  • Recommend inclusive actions to be prioritized by humanitarian actors.

The study conducted a literature review, quantitative data collection as well as qualitative data collection. Quantitative data was collected from 2,495 persons of randomly sampled 506 households in the urban setting in Bar Elias as well as Informal Tented Settlements (ITS) in Bar Elias and Arsal in December 2017. Fourteen Key Informant Interviews (KII) were also conducted in December 2017 to elicit deeper insights on the educational situation of children with and without disabilities.

Explosive hazards: another fear for the population in Mosul. Factsheet July 2018.

HUMANITY & INCLUSION (HI)
July 2018

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This paper draws on data gathered by Handicap International (HI) on explosive hazard incidents and related casualties that happened after Mosul was retaken, and demonstrates the dire need for scaling-up humanitarian mine action, specifically risk education, technical and non-technical survey, hazard marking, clearance, and victim assistance activities in Iraq

Psychosocial disability in the Middle East

BOLTON. Laura
May 2018

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A K4 helpdesk report, commissioned by DFID (UK), provides a rapid review of literature to provide best estimates of psychosocial disability in specific countries in the Middle East.

Topics discussed include:

Prevalence and different forms of mental health conditions and psychosocial disability

Factors influencing prevalence

Differences across demographics

Provision for those with psychosocial disabilities

How law protects persons with disabilities in armed conflict

INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS (ICRC)
December 2017

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This paper identifies commonalities between international humanitarian law (IHL) and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and emphasizes certain specific contributions of IHL to the protection of persons with disabilities in armed conflict.

It is hoped that this legal analysis will contribute to current efforts by the ICRC and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, as well as other actors, to operationalise better inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities in carrying out humanitarian activities in armed conflict

Landmine Monitor 2017

INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN TO BAN LANDMINES – CLUSTER MUNITION COALITION (ICBL-CMC)
December 2017

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Landmine Monitor 2017 provides a global overview of the landmine situation. Chapters on developments in specific countries and other areas are available in online Country Profiles on the website.

Landmine Monitor covers mine ban policy, use, production, trade, and stockpiling in every country in the world, and also includes information on contamination, clearance, casualties, victim assistance, and support for mine action. The report focuses on calendar year 2016, with information included up to November 2017 when possible.

The Victim Assistance section covers: assessing the needs; frameworks for assistance; enhancing plans and policies; inclusion and active participation of mine victims; availability of and accessibility to services (medical care, rehabilitation including prosthetics; socioeconomic inclusion; education, pyschosocial support); guaranteeing rights in an age- and gender-sensitive manner; communicating objectives and reporting improvements; legal frameworks and new laws.

International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and Persons with Disabilities

INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS (ICRC)
October 2017

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"International humanitarian law (IHL) is a set of rules that, in times of armed conflict, seeks – for humanitarian reasons – to protect persons who are not, or are no longer directly participating in hostilities, and to restrict means and methods of warfare. IHL requires parties to armed conflicts to afford special respect and protection to persons with disabilities and helps ensure their inclusion. A number of weapons-related treaties aims to prevent certain disabilities from occurring by prohibiting the use of particular weapons and reducing the dangers they pose. They also seek to ensure that victims receive appropriate assistance"

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