Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities

Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities: Disability and the rights of persons with disabilities

Persons with disabilities are among the most marginalised people in crisis-affected communities and disproportionately affected by conflict and disasters. Facing substantial barriers to accessing assistance, people with disabilities are often not taken into account in humanitarian response or are considered only as recipients of aid and not as actors in the response.

This situation is however changing as people with disabilities have asked humanitarian actors to better consider their rights in intervention. Today a number of key documents and tools support inclusion of persons with disability in humanitarian programming.


IASC Reference Group on the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action

In 2016, the United Nations Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Working Group agreed on the establishment of a Task Team on the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action, which, through a large number of consultations with member States, organisations of persons with disabilities and/or in humanitarian action and UN agencies, drafted the Guidelines on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action.  They were endorsed by the IASC Principals in 2019.

Following the launch of the Guidelines, ICVA organised a webinar, entitled, Inclusion of persons with disabilities in humanitarian action: what after the guidelines?, to discuss how the Guidelines should be implemented in practice and what actions are needed to translate them into concrete improvements in the daily activities of humanitarian organisations.

A Reference Group was also established to continue to bring together key stakeholders for the implementation of the IASC Guidelines on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities. The group provides support, develops supporting tools and resources and assists in dissemination. ICVA joined the Reference Group and is engaging in its working streams.