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CBM, Humanity & Inclusion and IDA: New guidance on CRPD reporting on persons with disabilities in humanitarian emergencies

CBM, Humanity & Inclusion, and the International Disability Alliance (IDA) are publishing today their latest guidance on persons with disabilities in humanitarian emergencies.

The document aims to provide persons with disabilities, their representative organisations (OPDs) and other civil society organisations with practical support to analyse and report on the implementation of the rights of persons with disabilities in situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies (Article 11 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – CRPD). It also provides a horizon scanning of legal frameworks applying at international level, and other relevant reporting mechanisms.

See the full guidance in English PDF and Word.

Persons with disabilities are disproportionately affected by disasters, humanitarian emergencies and conflict situations, facing higher risk of death, aggression, injury and property loss. The humanitarian system and the preparedness/mitigation mechanisms addressing disaster risks still do not fully include persons with disabilities. Discrimination based on disability, age and gender often combines with indirect forms of discrimination, denying people their right to assistance, protection and participation in humanitarian action. As a result, persons with disabilities are more likely to be left behind during emergency evacuations and in humanitarian assistance, with a death rate at least twice as high as that of the general affected population.

Ensuring the inclusion of persons with disabilities in situations of risk and during emergency response is stated in Article 11 of the CRPD and must be considered a core component of principled and effective humanitarian action, including Disaster Risk Reduction. In fact, CRPD Article 11 is the provision on the protection and safety of persons with disabilities in situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies. It covers armed conflicts, humanitarian emergencies and natural disasters, and applies a human rights perspective to the assistance of persons with disabilities.

Civil society organizations can advocate for the full implementation of this article through alternative reporting on CRPD implementation and engagement during the State review process of the CRPD Committee. In fact, the CRPD Committee periodically review reports submitted by each State party to the Convention, issuing recommendations on the actions the State should take to implement the Convention. Contributions from civil society are therefore important to complement (or correct) the information provided in the State report, highlighting priority issues and suggesting concrete recommendations.

Hence, understanding the key obligations arising from Article 11 and the measures that must be implemented by State Parties to ensure protection, safety and dignity of persons with disabilities in situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies is of utmost importance for civil society’s actors.

This new guidance comprises of three parts:

  1. An analysis of the legal frameworks guiding inclusive humanitarian action, presenting States obligations in the context of Disaster Risk Reduction and humanitarian action, and the jurisprudence of UN Human Rights Committees. After explaining the role of Human Rights in these situations, the guidance analyses Article 11 of the CRPD in details.
  2. A guide on the CRPD State reporting cycle for OPDs and civil society organizations, presenting the State reporting cycle of the CRPD Committee and explaining the possibilities of engagement for civil society organizations to engage in this process.
  3. A monitoring and analysis matrix on Article 11 of the CRPD, to guide data gathering and analysis on the implementation of Article 11 through a set of key questions and outcome evidence and suggesting main sources of information.

The publication has been supported by the Australian Government and the European Union Humanitarian Aid.