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Including people with disabilities in crisis response

Inclusion
International

The Charter on the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action was drawn up in 2016 by Humanity & Inclusion in conjunction with more than 70 partners. The charter already has more than 200 signatories, including 25 States, the European Union, several UN agencies, humanitarian organisations and disabled people’s organisations.

Homepage of the Humanitarian Disability Charter website

Homepage of the Humanitarian Disability Charter website | source: Humanitarian Disability Charter

Launched in May 2016, the Charter calls on all organisations involved in humanitarian response to improve their practices in order to better include people with disabilities. Its primary aim is to ensure that people with disabilities have access to humanitarian response and are consulted or actively involved in decision-making processes concerning their lives.

 

This charter is a response to the fact that, in emergencies such as earthquakes and armed conflicts, people with disabilities often find it very hard to access humanitarian aid: if someone uses a wheelchair they may not be able to reach a food distribution point; someone who is hard of hearing might miss information about a humanitarian service; an NGO may not know of the existence of a Down Syndrome child if their family has hidden them away because, for cultural reasons, their condition is seen as shameful. These are just some of the obstacles people with disabilities face in accessing humanitarian aid.

 

The Charter has made people much more aware of these regularly occurring situations. More than 200 organisations, institutions, States, etc., involved in emergency response have agreed to end this injustice. The next step is to apply the principles set out in the Charter.

 

The inclusion of people with disabilities must be one of the main criteria funding bodies use when allocating money to emergency response. NGOs need to adapt their actions and take into account people with disabilities in their programmes. Many organisations and institutions in the humanitarian sector have signed the Charter. Now we need to see concrete changes in the field,” explains Camille Gosselin, HI’s humanitarian advocacy officer.

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Rohingya refugee children with disabilities shine with HI support
© Nicolas Axelrod-Ruom /HI
Inclusion Supporting the Displaced Populations/Refugees

Rohingya refugee children with disabilities shine with HI support

“By observing other children playing and by doing stimulation exercises, Zesmin has finally learnt to call us father and mother.” Zesmin’s parents, Rohingya refugees living in Bangladesh, witnessed their daughter, a girl with Down syndrome who had difficulties moving and communicating, turn into a happy, energetic toddler. “We meticulously followed Humanity & Inclusion’s (HI) advice. With wonderful results.”

COVID-19 adds to the misery of the homeless
© HI
Health Inclusion

COVID-19 adds to the misery of the homeless

In Lomé, the capital of Togo, COVID-19 restrictions have made the lives of homeless people even more difficult to bear. Many are children and single mothers. Humanity & Inclusion (HI) has been organising outreach to provide them with assistance.

No more children with disabilities out of school
© J. Mc Geown / HI
Inclusion

No more children with disabilities out of school

The Global Education Report has been released on the 23rd of June. Published by UNESCO, it monitors the progress of education throughout the world. HI has participated in this year’s report which focusses on the inclusion of all children in education, not forgetting children with disabilities. Humanity & Inclusion (HI) Inclusive Education Advisor Julia McGeown explains this report: