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Do not neglect people with disabilities in crisis situations

Inclusion

Handicap International (HI), the European Disability Forum  (EDF), and CBM International held a round table at the European Parliament on 6 December in order to further Europe's undertakings in relation to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the Charter on inclusion of persons with disabilities in humanitarian action.

rehabilitation session in Kenya | © P.Meinhardt / HI

This event provided the opportunity to hear first-hand testimony from Disabled People's Organisations and NGOs on the difficulties people with disabilities experience in accessing humanitarian aid in emergency situations; and to promote the measures that need to be implemented in order to fight discrimination.

"At HI we have some very tangible ways of helping NGOs with issues relating to access to humanitarian aid for people with disabilities. For example, we can train them on how to react to different situations: from how to build wheelchair-accessible bathroom facilities to how to identify people with disabilities, who are often quite simply invisible in crisis situations. However, these questions also need to be asked at a political level: we want to raise the European Union's awareness of this problem so that the inclusion of people with disabilities becomes an integral part of its policies on funding emergency aid," explains Elena Bertozzi, Humanitarian Advocacy Officer at HI.

Charter on inclusion of persons with disabilities in emergency aid[V1] 

In May 2016, HI was heavily involved in launching the Charter on inclusion of persons with disabilities in humanitarian action[V2] . Over 170 States, humanitarian organisations, donors and charitable networks have already joined it[V3] . The Charter calls on all humanitarian aid institutions to modify their practices to better include people with disabilities, involve them in decision-making, and ensure that humanitarian services are genuinely available to all. Today, we hope that still more States and humanitarian organisations will sign the charter and fully implement the principles it enshrines.


 [V1]À valider, pas trouvé référence sauf au sein du chater on inclusion of persons with disabilities in humanitarian action – coquille ou volontaire ?

 [V2]idem

 [V3]J’aurais mis « have already signed » mais je ne voulais pas déformer le sens du FR

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Reema: “I really hope I can go back to my village and see mum again”
© Elise Cartuyvels/HI

Reema: “I really hope I can go back to my village and see mum again”

Reema, 14, was abandoned at the age of six. Suffering from phocomelia – a congenital malformation – since birth, for many years she was unable to walk. With support from HI, she has been fitted with a prosthesis and benefits from rehabilitation care. Reema now goes to school. She wants to be a dancer and practices every morning.

Nepal earthquake: inseparable Nirmala and Khendo
© Elise cartuyvels/HI

Nepal earthquake: inseparable Nirmala and Khendo

On 25 April 2015, Nepal was hit by a violent earthquake. Hundreds of kilometres apart, Nirmala and Khendo were both buried under the rubble. Rushed to hospital, they each had a leg amputated. This is where they met, attended rehabilitation sessions with HI’s physiotherapists, and learned to walk. Three years on, they are almost never apart and even go to school together. Their dream? To dance again.

Three years after the earthquake: HI continues to assist victims
© Prasiit Sthapit/HI

Three years after the earthquake: HI continues to assist victims

More than 8,000 people were killed and 22,000 injured when an earthquake hit Nepal three years ago. Already present in the field, HI launched an immediate response in aid of those affected, providing assistance to more than 15,000 people.