Humanitarian, Migrants and Refugees

Disability inclusion resources from around the world

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This page has curated news on Humanitarian, Migrants and Refugees. There are resources from 35 countries and regions, with a total of 117 links.

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Highlights

From the Asia-Pacific:

Organizations of persons with disabilities engaging in Humanitarian Action reflections from Bangladesh, Indonesia and Nepal. (2022, CBM Global)

From Nigeria:

Stories of being disabled and displaced from Sokoto and Zamfara. (2022, ICIR Nigeria)

From South Sudan:

Towards a Disability-Inclusive Humanitarian Response in South Sudan? See also the full version. While “tangible progress is being made”, “serious gaps and challenges to disability inclusion remain”:

“Humanitarian organizations still do not recognize the diversity of disability and lack strategies to include persons with intellectual and psychosocial impairments. Moreover, persons with disabilities rarely participate in the project design phase and seldom contribute to programme development due to persisting attitudinal, environmental and institutional barriers.” (links to pdfs, 2022, IFHV)

From Syria:

Children with Disabilities Left Unprotected report on the impact of armed conflict. “Most of the children included in this report were born just before or as the war started in 2011 and have not known a time without conflict, displacement, or difficulties in getting the services they need to grow and thrive.” And much as the international community spends billions in humanitarian response, people with disabilities “face systematic challenges in accessing humanitarian services on an equal basis with others.” (2022, Human Rights Watch)

From Türkiye:

Meet The 6 Disability-Led Organizations Responding To The Needs of People with Disabilities in Türkiye and Syria (2023, Gadra)

Resources by country:

Global

International News

Checklist to Ensure the Meaningful Engagement of Young Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action (2023, UNFPA)

Always included a report on uninterrupted education for children with disabilities before, during, and after a crisis. (2023, Humanity and Inclusion)

People with disabilities must be included in humanitarian action interview with Karen Alexander (2023, CBM Australia)

Mental Health & Psychosocial Support Good Practice Guide: “this guidance helps all actors engaged in emergency response to ensure that their MHPSS activities are inclusive” (2023, CBM Global)

Humanitarian emergencies and situations of risk for women and girls and gender diverse persons with disabilities. (2023, Women Enabled International)

Free E-learning Course on Disability-Inclusive Humanitarian Action for Humanitarians. (2023, HI)

Profile of Aleema Shivji her work in humanitarian response and inclusion of persons with disabilities. (2023, The New Humanitarian)

Crisis response for refugee children with disability: New book published. (2023, ENIL)

Guidance note Qualitative Assessment Approaches for the Protection of Children with Disabilities Within Humanitarian Contexts. (2023, Alliance CHPA)

IDA-UNHCR Strategic Collaboration in 2022: Key Steps Towards Inclusion and Participation. (2023, IDA)

Included, Every Step of the Way Upholding the rights of migrant and displaced children with disabilities. (2023, UNICEF)

People with Disabilities in Humanitarian Emergencies and Situations of Risk a policy submission to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. (2023, Human Rights Watch)

Key principles and recommendations for inclusive cash and voucher assistance (2023, Calp Network)

Exploring the intersectionality of International Refugee Protection and the 2006 Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. “This paper highlights the multitude of barriers persons with disabilities experience in obtaining refugee protection.” (2023, IDA)

A review of evidence on disability inclusive Early Childhood Development and Education in Humanitarian Settings. (2023, Institute of Development Studies)

Disability and Inclusion Survey by IOM of IDP sites in Montepuez (2023, Relief Web)

Disability-Inclusive Humanitarian Action Toolkit Operational guidance on including children with disabilities in humanitarian response (2023, UNICEF)

Advancing disability-inclusive action on internal displacement. “This report represents a first step toward addressing the paucity of data on IDPs with disabilities.” (2022, IDMC)

Disability and Older Age Inclusion in Humanitarian Action: Innovation Catalogue. See also notes on its launching. (2022, elrha)

IASC Guidance, Addressing Suicide in Humanitarian Settings. (2022, IASC)

Discussion on inclusion of persons with disabilities in humanitarian affairs with Ricardo Pla of UNHCHR, on Ukraine and beyond. (In Spanish, 2022, En Marcha)

A scoping review of research on adolescents with disabilities’ experiences of COVID-19 and other humanitarian emergencies in low- and middle-income countries. (2022, Global Health Action)

Disabled refugee students included and visible in education. Case studies of challenges and opportunities in Uganda, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. (2022, Disabled Refugees Included)

Around the world, refugees with disabilities face an uphill battle (2022, Equal Times)

Inclusion and exclusion in humanitarian action: findings from a three-year study. A call to treat inclusion more holistically. Important reflections on a ”fragmentation of approaches”, and how it creates a siloed approach:

“In many cases, inclusion is still understood in categorical terms, focusing on specific groups of people or categories of need, such as gender, people with disabilities, people with diverse SOGIESC, religious and ethnic minorities, and beyond. This has a number of implications for how inclusion is operationalised in practice. First, seeing inclusion largely as a proliferation of different categories all requiring their own specific approaches has led to a sense of being overwhelmed and being asked to do too many things at once [... Also] it can have the unintended effect of creating hierarchies between different marginalised or vulnerable groups in terms of what or who gets prioritised. [.. . ] Breaking things down into categories can reduce inclusion to a question of ‘marketability’ in terms of what gets funded, with ‘women and girls’ competing with ‘older people’ [...] Absent altogether from these hierarchies are axes of inclusion that do not fall neatly into categories because they are not always identity-based or easily visible – such as race, social class or stigmatised occupations. In general, these aspects tend to lack the same kinds of communities of expertise and advocacy that have forcefully pushed for greater sensitivity to other aspects of inclusion over the years at both the global and response levels.” (2022, ODI)

Under the Radar: Surviving Wars With a Disability:

“I was like a double-burden to my mom. The pressure was so much that one day, she decided to get rid of me.” She threw him into a shallow body of water and was ready to move on. But Mauot’s sisters refused to leave him behind. They picked him up as he cried, until their mother relented.” (2022, Pass Blue)

UNHCR 2021 report on Age, Gender and Diversity Accountability “2021 marked an important turning point in UNHCR’s work on persons with disabilities.”:

“Enhanced reporting by operations allowed UNHCR to better capture the support provided to persons with disabilities. Cumulatively, UNHCR operations supported 479,815 persons with disabilities worldwide, including at least 7,615 children.” (2022, UNHCR)

Humanitarian Networks and Partnerships Week Resources about Inclusion (2022, HNPW)

IDMC 2022 Global Report on Internal Displacement includes a spotlight on displaced children with disabilities and promising practices. (2022)

More disasters, less inclusion: will transformation start in Bali? Calls from IDA for the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction to empower persons with disabilities. (2022, PR Web)

Statement Adopted by the Thematic Group on Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Action for the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction. (2022, IDA)

People with disabilities face 10-40% higher costs does Cash and Voucher Assistance account for this? “The way transfer values are calculated for people with disabilities must change” (2022, Calp Network)

All Under One Roof: disability-inclusive shelter and settlements in emergencies. Technical guidance for inclusion to improve on how “post disaster shelter and settlement responses are invariably designed to provide standardised solutions to an affected community”. (2022, Global Shelter Cluster)

Introductory video to the IASC Guidelines on inclusive humanitarian has been translated into Arabic, Bangla, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swahili, Ukrainian and Russian. (2022, EDF)

"No One is Spared" Report on Older People at Heightened Risk in Conflict. Including disturbing examples of violence. (2022, Human Rights Watch)

International Rescue Committee UK: Step by step – our work to become inclusive. (2022, EDF)

Perhaps familiar to some of you, but this month I learned that physical rehabilitation centres are one of the ways that humanitarian impact bonds are being used. The idea of the impact bond is that you pay for results and they might be a means to secure different sources of funding. (2022, Government Outcomes Lab)

An overall view on Aid policy trends to watch in 2022 Diversifying aid, its staff and its workplaces are one of the key themes to explore this year. The article puts this under the "decolonisation agenda" but there are many examples where genuine gains in diversity and inclusion are made without touching colonial dynamics. (2022, The New Humanitarian)

CBM's Humanitarian Hands on Tool is now available in more languages including Ukrainian. (2022, CBM)

UNHCR's Approach to Forcibly Displaced and Stateless Persons with Disabilities. Most of this brief describes the organization's approach to disability inclusion in general. (2022, UNHCR)

Report on the role of Cash and Voucher Assistance in Increasing Equity and Inclusion for Girls and Children with Disabilities in Education in Emergencies. Report speaks to how this assistance “primarily addresses” the demand-side barriers to education in emergencies. (2022, SDC and others)

Training Package on Strengthening Protection of Persons with Disabilities in Forced Displacement (2022, UNHCR)

Good to see these six reflections on Cash and Voucher Assistance in 2021 that shows the place of disability-inclusive cash assistance in a "patchy" shift to putting people at the centre of work. (2021, CALP Network)

December Newsletter from the Reference Group on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action (2021, IDA)

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Asia-Pacific

Organizations of persons with disabilities engaging in Humanitarian Action reflections from Bangladesh, Indonesia and Nepal. (2022, CBM Global)

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Africa

Africa

Workshop on Including Displaced Persons with Disabilities Workshop for African OPDs (2022, IDA)

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East Africa

Gap Analysis on Disability Inclusive Humanitarian Action in Eastern Africa “While some organisations are making efforts to include the inclusion of persons with disabilities in their programming, challenges remain, such as a lack of inclusion of the insights of persons with disabilities, insufficient disaggregation of data and inadequate budget allocation.” (2023, CBM UK)

Urgent action needed to stop famine and the annihilation of pastoralism in the Horn of Africa, older people warn (devastating testimonies). (2022, HelpAge)

Webinar on Who Eats Last? The impact of Food Insecurity on People with Disabilities in the Horn of Africa. (2022, IDA CRPD Forum)

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Egypt

42,300 Sudanese refugees in Egypt: “Local teams note that between 20 and 25% of the refugees are persons with disabilities.” (2023, Relief Web)

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Ethiopia

The state of disability inclusion in refugee and IDP settings a report on the extent disability inclusion is mainstreamed in humanitarian response. (2023, UNHCR)

Humanitarian cash transfers “changing the lives of persons with disabilities affected by emergencies” (2023, UNICEF)

Empowering Dreams supporting children with disabilities affected by conflict. (2023, UNICEF)

Scaling up humanitarian support for children with disabilities and their families. “UNICEF is expanding programming in IDP camps to provide services and support for children with disabilities and their families.” (2023, UNICEF)

A rapid review of Disability inclusion for refugees in Ethiopia: an urgent need. One refugee from Jewi Camp, Gambella, said:

“The refugee camp is in rural area with harsh weather condition…It is extremely humid…. sitting on wheelchair for long time burned my back. It is very difficult to move around using wheelchair. In addition, the physical environment is not straight and flat to easily move round using wheelchair. I am sometimes trapped in ditches.” (2022, Research and Evidence Facility)

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Kenya

Supporting people with disabilities affected by the Kenya food crisis. (2022, QAV Global)

Profile of Racheal Njiru and her work as a project manager at Kakuma refugee camp. (2022, Inclusive Futures)

Stories from the Kenya Drought see also the second and third stories. (2022, CBM UK)

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Libya

Sudanese refugee with disabled son: 'UNHCR Libya does not answer my calls'. After a journey through Chad and Egypt they faced imprisonment in Libya and are searching for assistance. (2022, InfoMigrants)

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Mozambique

Addressing the needs of children with disabilities affected by emergencies. (2023, UNICEF)

IOM Disability and Inclusion Survey (2023, IOM)

Cyclone recovery brings civil society and local government together to build inclusive society. (2022, UNICEF)

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Nigeria

Stories of being disabled and displaced from Sokoto and Zamfara. (2022, ICIR Nigeria)

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Somalia

Exclusive humanitarianism: Policy recommendations for genuine inclusion of persons with disabilities in humanitarian action. (2022, International Review of the Red Cross)

Study from IOM on disability inclusion in Internally Displaced People sites in Kismayo. Among other barriers:

"Access to information remains a critical barrier preventing persons with disabilities from accessing services within the IDP site and broader community. Door-to-door or shelter-level information engagement is recommended for all organizations providing support in IDP sites to ensure greater service knowledge of persons with disabilities" (2022, Relief Web)

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South Sudan

'I want to be self-reliant' — encouraging enterprise for Internally Displaced People. (2023, Light for the World International)

Towards a Disability-Inclusive Humanitarian Response in South Sudan? See also the full version. While “tangible progress is being made”, “serious gaps and challenges to disability inclusion remain”:

“Humanitarian organizations still do not recognize the diversity of disability and lack strategies to include persons with intellectual and psychosocial impairments. Moreover, persons with disabilities rarely participate in the project design phase and seldom contribute to programme development due to persisting attitudinal, environmental and institutional barriers.” (links to pdfs, 2022, IFHV)

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Sudan

As hundreds of thousands flee Sudan, inclusion must be prioritised. Refugees fleeing to South Sudan. (2023, Light for the World)

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Asia

Afghanistan

Taliban Takeover 1 year on: The situation is worse than ever and people with disabilities are the hardest hit. See more on the HI Kandahar Rehabilitation Centre. (2022, Humanity and Inclusion)

Cash assistance is a lifeline for older people: “many older people in Afghanistan have faced illness, disability, trauma and displacement from their homes, all of which can be barriers to accessing paid work and humanitarian support.” (2022, DEC)

Afghanistan Earthquake Response Overlooks People with Disabilities (2022, Human Rights Watch)

Humanitarian Crisis And Neglect In Afghanistan Puts People With Disabilities At Risk (2022, the OWP)

Multi-sectoral needs assessments of Households with Disability “A significant proportion of households headed by a person with disability experience life-threatening circumstances and are in need of urgent life-saving humanitarian assistance to survive.” (2022, Save the Children)

Helping the disabled in Afghanistan: rehab and assistive technology in centres staffed by people with physical disabilities (2021, ICRC)

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Bangladesh

Our lessons: A report on AHP III on a disability inclusion journey in the Rohingya crisis. “Substantial progress was seen in the development of Self-Help Groups and the increase in accessible services and uptake of the Washington Group Questions.” (2023, CBM Australia)

Work to include Rohingya Refugees with disabilities in humanitarian response. (Short video, 2023, AHP III Bangladesh Consortium)

Short video of Tagari's Story from Cox’s Bazar. (2023, CBM UK)

Threadbare disability support faces uncertain future in Bangladesh refugee camps. “The limited support available to Rohingya refugees with disabilities in the country’s sprawling camps is at risk as humanitarian budgets face cuts.” (2022, UNHCR)

5 Years After The Genocide: Rohingya refugees’ needs are higher than ever. Report calls for international actors to pay more attention to needs of persons with disabilities. (2022, MedGlobal)

Providing a dignified life for refugee children with disabilities. “In the Rohingya refugee camp, an accessible latrine is making a difference in Irfan’s life” (2022, UNICEF)

The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar visited the facilities at Bhasan Char island, where Rohingya refugees are to be relocated:

“Structures, including residential housing, appear well constructed and are considerably stronger and more durable than those in Cox’s Bazar. Unfortunately, accessibility for persons with disabilities was clearly not factored into the planning and construction process.” (2022, OHCHR)

Tip sheet on inclusion in the Rohingya Refugee Response (2022, Relief Web)

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Iraq

Fact sheet on Accessible documents for persons with vision impairments and persons with low vision in Iraq. (2022, IOM)

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Jordan

Jordan’s sole refuge for people with disabilities risk closure as COVID-19 dries up donations (2022, Global Voices)

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Pakistan

Afghan refugee removes obstacles barring kids with disabilities from school The Afgahn Refugee Disabled Union provides wheelchairs to help kids get to school. (2022, UNHCHR)

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Philippines

Super Typhoon Rai leaves widespread destruction (2021, CBM Global)

The Humanitarian Needs and Priorities identified after Super Typhoon Rai includes mentions of persons with disabilities. (2021, Relief Web)

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Syria

Home Modification Project Brings Hope to Palestine Refugees with Disabilities. (2023, UNRWA)

Children with Disabilities Left Unprotected report on the impact of armed conflict. “Most of the children included in this report were born just before or as the war started in 2011 and have not known a time without conflict, displacement, or difficulties in getting the services they need to grow and thrive.” And much as the international community spends billions in humanitarian response, people with disabilities “face systematic challenges in accessing humanitarian services on an equal basis with others.” (2022, Human Rights Watch)

North-West Syria Protection Analysis Update June 2022 gives a disability prevalence of 32%, increasing to 39% for displaced persons. (link to pdf, 2022, Protection Sector)

Saeed’s smile: ‘Disability should never be a reason for exclusion’, and a description of a partnership with Sesame Street. (2022, IRC)

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Türkiye

Meet The 6 Disability-Led Organizations Responding To The Needs of People with Disabilities in Türkiye and Syria (2023, Gadra)

Türkiye and Syria 3/17/2023 Update: “In the weeks since the earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria, government agencies have not made resources available to meet the needs of disabled survivors, and there are no policies that directly address their disability and accessibility related needs and support their inclusion throughout response, recovery, and reconstruction.” (2023, WID)

In Solidarity with Women, Girls, and Gender Minorities with Disabilities in Turkey and Syria. Context and call for “women and gender-diverse people with disabilities are included in response efforts”. (2023, Women Enabled)

Iran amputee football team players dead in Turkey quake. (2023, Tehran Times)

Disability Inclusion Task Team (DITT) Tips on disability-inclusive emergency response (Earthquake) (2023, UNHCR)

Violent earthquakes kill thousands in Turkey, Syria. (2023)

Protection & Education Needs of Refugees with Disabilities in Southeast Turkey. “Given the often complex needs of children with a disability, access to information about public services was cited by families as being of particular importance.” (2022, Sened)

Turkish man sparks outrage for kicking 70-year-old Syrian refugee woman in the head (2022, Stockholm Center for Freedom)

Protection Needs of Refugees with Disabilities Only one of the 300 research participants had a job; 9% had part-time work. (2022, Relief Web)

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Yemen

Dire situation for people with disabilities. An alarming report: 81% of those surveyed could not reach or use humanitarian services. Of the 300 local organizations providing disability services before the war, “only a fraction remain, with extremely limited capacity and resources”. One person interviewed said that:

“we simply cannot escape when explosions or armed clashes take place. This is a fear of every Yemeni, yet our limitations prevent us from being able to quickly get away from such hostile situations. It is a constant fear persons with disabilities in Yemen live with, and it’s holding us back from being able to do many things such as looking for sources of income.” (2022, Humanity & Inclusion)

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Europe

Europe

EDF calls for inclusive and participatory response to humanitarian crises. (2023, EDF)

We have a duty to promote disability inclusive refugee responses to achieve the highest attainable standard of health in the European region. (2023, The BMJ)

Refugees in Europe Need Mental Health Support (2022, Human Rights Watch)

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France

Afghan Evacuees Need Mental Health Support (2022, Human Rights Watch)

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Germany

Blind Syrian granted asylum, is allowed to stay in Germany (2022, InfoMigrants)

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Italy

How a photo of a Syrian father and son led to a new life in Italy (photo shows father and son both with physical disabilities) (2022, the Guardian)

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Ukraine

Ensuring the protection of persons with disabilities fleeing from Ukraine. Report that “provides an overview of the situation in Ukraine, highlights the five priority actions to strengthen support to persons with disabilities fleeing from Ukraine.” (2023, EDF)

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United Kingdom

Name Me Lawand review empathic and inspiring portrait of deaf Iraqi refugee boy. (2023, the Guardian)

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North America

Haiti

It’s Time to Recognize the Leadership of Persons with Disabilities for Inclusive Humanitarian Response. (2022, DRF)

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United States

Refugees with Disabilities Struggle to Join the Workforce (2022, Chicago Monitor)

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Oceania

Australia

Small changes could bridge communication and cultural gaps for people from refugee backgrounds who need disability support. (2022, the Conversation)

The association between chronic pain and pre-and-post migration experiences in resettled humanitarian refugee women residing in Australia. “Chronic pain was reported in 45% (n = 139) of women, and among these a further 66% (n = 120) also reported having a long-term disability or health condition that had lasted 12 months.” (2022, BMC Public Health)

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Vanuatu

Menstrual Health Experiences of People with Intellectual Disabilities and Their Caregivers during Vanuatu's Humanitarian Responses: A Qualitative Study. (2022, IJERPH)

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