Evidence is emerging that persons with disabilities are being disproportionately affected by the Coronavirus pandemic and emergency measures being taken by governments worldwide. As governments rush to respond to the virus, it is more critical than ever to guarantee that measures taken are fully inclusive of persons with disabilities and prevent human rights violations from taking place.
With the endorsements of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health, Mr Dainius Pūras, and the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Ms Catalina Devandas Aguilar, a coalition of six disability rights organisations is today launching a major international monitoring initiative entitled “COVID-19 Disability Rights Monitor” to conduct rapid independent monitoring of state measures concerning persons with disabilities. The first element of this global initiative is the launch of two surveys requesting official information from governments and requesting the testimonies of persons with disabilities and their representative organisations. The surveys aim to collect information about what states are doing to protect core rights of persons with disabilities including the rights to life, access to health and essential services.