This groundbreaking report, Out from the Shadows, has shed light on what remains an under researched issue: sexual violence against children with disabilities. In fact, children with disabilities are particularly vulnerable to sexual violence, an issue which is rarely talked about. In 2010 Humanity & Inclusion and Save the Children tackled this head on to make this issue visible and to challenge governments and communities, including the international community.
The report, published in 2011, has made recommendations on how to tackle child sexual violence through evidence based research generated from a global literature review and first-hand research in four African countries: Burundi, Madagascar, Mozambique and Tanzania (Zanzibar).
Humanity & Inclusion and Save the Children have created a set of recommendations which are available in full at the end of this report.
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This report was based on the results of a global consultation carried out in 2015 as a contribution to the World Humanitarian Summit and is intended to better identify the changes needed for a disability-inclusive humanitarian response. A total of 769 responses were collected through 3 online surveys targeting persons with disabilities, disabled people's organizations (DPOs), and humanitarian actors.
Results found that 85% of humanitarian actors who responded to the survey recognized that persons with disabilities are more vulnerable in times of crisis and 92% estimated that these persons are not properly taken into account in humanitarian response.
Addressing these challenges is a human right imperative. It has also to do with an effective implementation of principled humanitarian aid. This ambition requires changes in policies and practices within the humanitarian community as a whole.
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More than a billion people, or about 15% of the world’s population, live with a disability. The rates of disability are expected to grow due to an aging population and the growing prevalence of chronic health conditions like heart disease and diabetes.
People with disabilities are among the world’s most marginalized and vulnerable groups:
- 80% of people with disabilities live in low income countries, and people with disabilities are among the most poverty-stricken citizens of those states.
- Worldwide, people with disabilities are less likely to have access to quality healthcare, education, and employment.
- When natural disasters, disease epidemics, or conflict strike, people with disabilities are more likely to become victims, but less likely than others to receive humanitarian
- In many low-income countries, where disability is treated as a stigma, people with disabilities can face discrimination in all aspects of life. They are also disproportionately affected by physical and sexual violence.
For 36 years, Humanity and Inclusion (HI) has fought to improve the living conditions of people with disabilities and ensure that their fundamental rights—including their rights to healthcare, rehabilitation, education, employment, accessibility and security—are met. Last year we supported 500,000 people with disabilities in 63 countries:
- 277,000 people received rehabilitation, including physical therapy and the provision of assistive devices like wheelchairs and prostheses.
- 42,600 children went to school through our inclusive education programs.
- 37,500 people gained employment as a result of skills training and assistance in starting small businesses.
- Hundreds of thousands of people with disabilities and other vulnerable populations received humanitarian aid following natural disasters and human conflicts.
HI also advocates for the rights of people with disabilities on global, national, and local levels and supports inclusion programs in more than 50 countries. HI participated in the drafting of the UN’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), and now works with local organizations in a number of countries to ratify or implement the CRPD.