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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This report, from 2016, is based on the results of a qualitative study of Humanity & Inclusion's inclusive livelihoods programs in 10 developing countries. The goal was to increase wage employment of people with disabilities by providing employers with the best practices showcasing successful wage employment facilitated by Humanity & Inclusion and partner businesses, enterprises, and organizations.
This study focuses on low and middle income countries, mainly the following ten: Algeria, Bolivia, Colombia, Egypt, Haiti, Laos, Mali, Morocco, Senegal, Tunisia. According to the WHO, 80% of people with disabilities live in developing countries. Handicap International found that across the 24 countries and states surveyed, the service sector is the sector that most frequently hires people with disabilities, especially in administrative roles. From our survey, results report that employers from several Asian and Latin American countries are increasing initiatives around disability inclusive employment.
However, the findings of this report show there is still work to be done to increase inclusive employment measures.
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These standards were developed in 2018 by the Age and Disability Capacity Programme (ADCAP) and were written to help organizations responding to crises to successfully identify and reach those most at risk, upholding the humanitarian principles by which they all must abide. In fact, more than 46% of those who are over the age of 60 have a disability.
The purpose of these standards was to strengthen the accountability of humanitarian actors of older people and people with disabilities, and to support the participation of older people and people with disabilities in humanitarian action. These standards can be used as guidance for programming, and as a resource for training and advocacy, particularly for inﬂuencing organizational policies and practice to be more inclusive.
Each chapter presents a set of standards with key actions, guidance notes, tools and resources, and case studies illustrating how older people and people with disabilities have been included in humanitarian responses. It consists of 9 key inclusion standards and 7 sets of sector specific inclusion standards: protection; water, sanitation and hygiene; food security and livelihoods; nutrition; shelter, settlement and household items; health; and education.
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More than 60% of Syrian refugee households include a person with disability, and 1/5 of refugees in Lebanon and Jordan have a disability, according to a new study by HI and iMMAP. The survey ran from 2017-2018, and so far has resulted in two reports, four fact sheets and a Data Dashboard that provide statistical figures on people with disabilities among Syrian refugees and their access to humanitarian aid.
Jessica with retired Senator Harkin in his Washington, D.C. office. (photo above)
More than one billion people on our planet have a disability—yet most still struggle to escape discrimination. The U.S. has been the world leader in promoting the rights of people with disabilities—until recently.
You can help change this.
An international disability rights treaty based on The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), aims to promote human rights and protections for people with disabilities around the globe. The world counts 173 ratifications/accessions to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)—but not the U.S.
In 2012, despite broad bi-partisan support, the U.S. Senate failed to ratify the CRPD by just five votes. It hasn't come to a floor vote since.
Call on your Senators to support the CRPD. Your name will be delivered in person to the Washington, D.C., offices of Senators to convince them it is the right thing to do.
Sign below to say:
I support the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. I urge you, and your fellow Senators, to support the disability treaty when it next comes to debate and a vote.
Ratification of the CRPD is free. Ratification does not change U.S. law. Ratification tells the world that the U.S. is serious about protecting the rights of people with disabilities.
Please, Senator, lend your support to the U.S. joining the disability treaty.
Decent, salaried jobs in developing countries are rarely an option for people with disabilities, according to a new white paper, Situation of wage employment for people with disabilities: ten developing countries in focus. The result is that people with disabilities are denied one of their fundamental rights—the right to employment.
Over the past six months, Handicap International researchers examined 24 of the 30 developing countries where the international NGO runs inclusive livelihoods projects, and then put ten countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia under the microscope to determine if people with disabilities are landing decent, freely chosen jobs.
The findings are stark. “Individuals with disabilities are being systematically excluded from the opportunity to earn a living wage,” said Herve Bernard, head of the inclusion unit for Handicap International. “If they do land jobs, they almost always earn less money than their colleagues without disabilities. Exclusion of people with disabilities from work is simply unacceptable.”
Handicap International produced the paper for the first annual Harkin International Disability Employment Summit, which takes place Dec. 8 and 9, in Washington, DC. The Summit gathers more than 180 government officials, professionals with disabilities, business and civil society leaders, and activists from 30 countries to shine light on effective laws, policies and programs, and to find ways to create more job opportunities for people with disabilities. Handicap International is a member of the Summit planning committee.
“The Harkin Summit is the first time we’ve brought so many global stakeholders together to focus exclusively on making workplaces more inclusive to people with disabilities,” said Bernard. “It’s paramount that we work together to help people with disabilities secure decent jobs, wherever they happen to live.”
People with disabilities account for 15% of the world’s population, or 1 billion people, according to the World Report on Disability. Eighty percent of people with disabilities live in developing countries. Yet good data on disability are hard to come by. Of the 24 countries surveyed, only China, Egypt, the Philippines, and Senegal devote a section of their national census to measuring employment rates of people with disabilities. The result is a murky understanding of the true economic impact of their exclusion.
Globally, fewer than 20% of people with disabilities are working, according to the International Labour Organization. This exclusion stems from a wide variety of barriers, including physical and structural barriers at work, and high levels of discrimination in regard to their ability to work. Also, too few schools and training centers welcome students with disabilities, hindering their job readiness.
Stereotypes about people with disabilities permeate the labor markets in developing countries. The paper notes that in West Africa, government representatives and senior business leaders said that if they did hire someone with a disability, they were motivated first by pity, and second by someone’s professional qualifications. Such discrimination not only denies people from a chance to support themselves and their families, but also to socialize with colleagues in a workplace.
There are strong links between disability and poverty. Most jobs for people with disabilities in the study were in the informal sector, and wages are far lower for people with disabilities. Tunisians with disabilities, for instance, were earning 40% less than their people who didn’t have a disability, according to the paper. And in Colombia, a law states that companies cannot pay people with disabilities less than 50% of the minimum wage in sheltered workshops. The wage gap in formal sectors also worsened for women with disabilities.
The paper found room for hope. Some local stakeholders, corporations, and service providers have established good policies and initiatives to provide more opportunities to people with disabilities. The ten-year-old United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, now ratified by 168 states, or three-quarters of the world’s nations, is giving people with disabilities more access to their basic human rights than ever before.
“We hope this paper will be the first piece of a more comprehensive data set and bank of best practices, so that more individuals with disabilities can enjoy decent work worldwide,” added Bernard.
Handicap International and the advancement of the rights of people with disabilities
Handicap International provides support to funding bodies, governments, and NGOs to promote the inclusion of people with disabilities in society, by building their capacities in the field of inclusive education, inclusive employment, humanitarian response, functional rehabilitation, social inclusion, and so on. The organization supports the development of disabled people’s organizations (DPOs) to ensure they effectively advance their rights. Handicap International has formed partnerships with more than 400 DPOs locally, nationally, and regionally. The organization is currently implementing 40 projects to help them organize their efforts, conduct advocacy, and monitor the advancement of the rights of people with disabilities.
About Handicap International
Handicap International is an independent international aid organization working in situations of poverty and exclusion, conflict, and disaster for nearly 35 years. Working alongside people with disabilities and other vulnerable groups, our action and testimony are focused on responding to their essential needs, improving their living conditions, and promoting respect for their dignity, and basic rights. Since its founding in 1982, Handicap International has set up development programs in more than 60 countries and intervenes in numerous emergency situations. The network of eight national associations (Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States) works constantly to mobilize resources, jointly manage projects and to increase the impact of the organization’s principles and actions. Handicap International is one of six founding organizations of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), the co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997, and the winner of the 2011 Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize. Handicap International takes action and campaigns in places where “living in dignity” is no easy task.
US Government: endorse new Charter on “Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action”
The following letter was sent to Secretary John Kerry on May 19, urging the U.S. to showcase its strong leadership role on the inclusion of persons with disabilities at the upcoming World Humanitarian Summit, and to sign a new Charter on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action. The text of the letter follows:Read more
I recently had the opportunity to interview Julia McGeown, HI’s technical advisor for inclusive education. Julia helps oversee the organization’s efforts to promote the inclusion of children with disabilities in mainstream schools in 25 countries. These programs are close to my heart, not only because I visited HI’s program in Ethiopia in 2013, but also because I also benefitted from being included in public schools in the U.S.Read more