ALERT – One year ago, a ground-breaking Charter launched by the UN Secretary-General at the World Humanitarian Summit

Posted by: on May 18, 2017 | No Comments

The launch of the Charter on the inclusion of people with disabilities in humanitarian action generated a historical momentum to engage all stakeholders to commit for disability inclusion.

On its first year anniversary, Handicap International calls for a continued mobilization to make this inclusion real for all persons with disabilities living in context of crisis.

No one left behind?

Often invisible to humanitarian actors, persons with disabilities, representing 1 in 7 people affected by a crisis, are often overlooked in the planning of humanitarian operations. A study on persons with disabilities in humanitarian contexts showed that:

– 75% of this population affected by humanitarian crisis does not have equal access to basic assistance, including water, food, shelter, and medical care,

– 50% of them lack access to specific services, such as provision of assistive devices.

Furthermore, during a crisis, the weakening or outright disappearance of peer and support networks add to the isolation and the risk of abuse faced by persons with disabilities, particularly women and girls.

In line with the 2030 agenda and the new Sustainable Development Goals, the World Humanitarian Summit represented a critical opportunity to ensure that humanitarian action recognises and addresses the needs and rights of persons with disabilities, in partnership with persons with disabilities and their representative organisations.

 Walking the talk: Advancing the implementation of the Charter!

Today, about 150 States, UN agencies, international NGOs community, and global, regional and national organisations of persons with disabilities have endorsed the Charter on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action.

The charter revolves around five core principles:

  • Non-discrimination.
  • Equal access to services for everyone.
  • Full participation of persons with disabilities in crisis decision-making.
  • Development of global guidelines and policies.
  • Sharing of expertise and cooperation between all actors.

The signatories of the Charter committed to improve the efficiency of the planning and delivery of humanitarian action based on these core principles. To set out an agenda and establish concrete measures on how to implement the Charter, Guidelines on inclusion of persons with disabilities in humanitarian action are now being drafted.

 This anniversary is an occasion to reaffirm our determination to make humanitarian action inclusive of persons with disabilities. Handicap International is therefore calling on all States, humanitarian and development actors to endorse the Charter and support its full implementation. Handicap International is also eager to keep the global collaboration ongoing to place persons with disabilities at the center of humanitarian response.

You can also read the article “Una acción humanitaria inclusiva: La promesa que sigue sin llegar a las personas con discapacidad”, written by Ricardo Pla Cordero, technical advisor at Handicap International.

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