Persons with disabilities are one of the most marginalized groups in situations of risk and emergency, facing significant challenges in terms of protection, safety, and inclusion in disaster management. As of 2021, an estimated 1.3 billion people – 16% of the global population – have a significant disability. Of these people, around 142 million experience severe levels of disability . This is due to a variety of factors, including lack of access to critical information, physical barriers, and discrimination in emergency planning and response efforts.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) recognizes the need to protect and ensure the safety of persons with disabilities in situations of risk and emergency. Article 11 of the CRPD states that "States Parties shall take, in accordance with their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law, all necessary measures to ensure the protection and safety of persons with disabilities in situations of risk, including situations of armed conflict, humanitarian emergencies and the occurrence of natural disasters ".
This EGM brought together experts and practitioners from a range of fields, including disability rights, humanitarian aid and emergency response, to share good practices and experiences, identify challenges and gaps, and develop recommendations for action. The meeting also examined the inclusion, protection and safety of persons with disabilities in enhancing efforts in the area of peace and security.
The outcomes of this EGM will inform the Secretary-General's report on the rights of persons with disabilities in situations of risk and contribute to the promotion and mainstreaming of easy-to-understand communication for accessibility for persons with disabilities.
The meeting aimed to address the following key questions:
• What are the current challenges in ensuring the protection and safety of persons with disabilities in situations of risk and emergency, and how can they be addressed?
• What are some good practices for including and empowering persons with disabilities in emergency planning and response efforts?
• How can stakeholders work together to ensure that the needs and rights of persons with disabilities are prioritized in all stages of the disaster-management cycle?
• What are the challenges and limitations in the promotion of easy-to-understand communication, and how can they be addressed?
• What are some examples of successful initiatives or programs that have used easy-to-understand communication, and what lessons can be learned from these experiences?
Download Final Report (PDF)
Download Final Report (Easy to Understand Communication)
- The rights of Persons with Disabilities in Climate Adaptation Policies by Prof. Sebastien Jodoin
- Disability-Inclusive Peacebuilding by Elizabeth Murray
- Disability Inclusion in Needs Assessment and Other Data Collection processes by Kirstin Lange
- Knowledge and Capacities on Disability Inclusion in Situations of Risk by Sarah Palmer
- Critical insights and Best Practices from the field by Talal Waheed
- Special Olympics and Easy to Read Language by David Evangelista
- Easy Read and Plain Language at the United Nations by Margarita Serrano Garcia
- Easy to Understand Communication by Chaica Sultan
- UNPRPD: Engaging with Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action Matters by Dr. Ola Abu Al Ghaib