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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

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.

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"

The Convention on Cluster Munitions: A treaty to end decades of civilian suffering

INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS
October 2017

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In May 2008, more than 100 States adopted the Convention on Cluster Munitions, which prohibits the use, development, production, stockpiling and transfer of such munitions. It also requires States Parties to destroy their stockpiles, clear remnants, and assist victims.

This brochure provides an overview of the cluster munitions problem, the main provisions of the Convention and the steps required to meet its commitments.

Everywhere the bombing followed us. Forced displacement and the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. Perspectives of Syrian women refugees in Lebanon

BEAUJOLAIS, Aurelie
September 2017

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Based on a survey of 205 Syrian refugees in Lebanon and in-depth interviews with 14 Syrian women refugees originally from different towns and cities in Syria, and additional research, this study confirms that the use of explosive weapons in populated areas drives multiple forced displacements and induces a pattern of displacement that increases the vulnerability of civilians. Quantitative data collected during the survey confirms the correlation between multiple forced displacements and the use of the explosive weapons, as almost half of all respondents had been internally displaced prior to seeking external refuge in Lebanon, with an average of 3 internal displacements within their own city. The women interviewed highlighted the deprivation induced by forced displacement. The study also reflects the considerable harm caused by the use of explosive weapons in populated areas in terms of socio-economic vulnerability, linked to the loss of livelihood and the disruption of civilian infrastructure, as well as the long-term impact on mental health. Dire social impacts were emphasised by respondents, namely aid dependence and new restrictions encountered by people living with disabilities, along with a loss of personal dignity, as well as the loss of education for Syrian children

 

Cluster Munition Monitor 2017

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

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Cluster Munition Monitor covers cluster munition ban policy, use, production, transfers, and stockpiling in every country in the world, and also contains information on cluster munition contamination and clearance activities, as well as casualties and victim assistance. Its principal frame of reference is the Convention on Cluster Munitions, although other relevant international law is reviewed, including the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The report focuses on calendar year 2016, with information included into July 2017 where possible. Sections are: cluster munition ban policy; contamination and clearance; casualties; victim assistance; and status of the convention

 

Including children with disabilities in humanitarian action

UNICEF
July 2017

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"The purpose of Including Children with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action is to strengthen the inclusion of children and women with disabilities, and their families, in emergency preparedness, response and early recovery, and recovery and reconstruction. This series of booklets provides insight into the situation of children with disabilities in humanitarian contexts, highlights the ways in which they are excluded from humanitarian action, and offers practical actions and tips to better include children and adolescents with disabilities in all stages of humanitarian action. The booklets were created in response to UNICEF colleagues in the field expressing a need for a practical resource to guide their work. The information and recommendations are based on evidence and good practices gathered from literature and field staff experiences. The six booklets on how to include children and adolescents with disabilities in humanitarian programmes are as follows: 1) general guidance; 2) child protection; 3) education; 4) health and HIV/AIDS; 5) nutrition; 6) water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)".

General guidance available July 2017. Others to follow.

In addition to the PDF versions in English, Arabic and French, the guidance is also available in a range of accessible formats, including EPUB, a Braille-ready file and accessible HTML formats. 

The guidance was developed in collaboration with Handicap International.

 

Accessible formats:

DAISY [zip file]

EPUB [EPUB]

HTML [zip file]

Braille-ready 

 

 

Additional resources:

Checklist for including children with disabilities in preparedness [English] [French]

Checklist for including children with disabilities in response and early recovery [English] [French]

Checklist for including children with disabilities in recovery and reconstruction 

International humanitarian law and persons with disabilities

INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS
July 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.


In addition to IHL, international human rights law (IHRL) – particularly the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and its Optional Protocol – contains important protections. For example, the CRPD recognizes States Parties' obligations under, inter alia, IHL and IHRL and obliges States Parties to ensure the protection and safety of persons with disabilities during armed conflict (Art. 11).

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