Persons with disabilities remain one of the most vulnerable and socially excluded groups in any displaced community. Barriers to accessing humanitarian assistance programs increase their protection risks, including risk of violence, abuse and exploitation. Women’s Refugee Commission has been supporting the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and implementing partners to translate guidance on disability inclusion into practice at field levels through the provision of technical support to eight country operations. In the course of the project, WRC has consulted with over 600 persons with disabilities and care-givers and over 130 humanitarian actors in displacement contexts. Key protection concerns identified include a lack of participation in community decision making; stigma and discrimination of children and young persons with disabilities by their non-disabled peers; violence against persons with disabilities, including gender-based violence; lack of access to disabilityspecific health care; and unmet basic needs among families of persons with multiple impairments. Suggested strategies to further advance disability inclusion in humanitarian programming include: strengthening identification of protection risks and case management services for persons with disabilities; facilitating contextspecific action planning around key guidelines; and engaging the disability movement in advocacy on refugee issues.
Author Emma Pearce a Women’s Refugee Commission. Corresponding Author