Humanitarian, Migrants and Refugees

This page features disability news on Humanitarian, Migrants and Refugees from the Debrief Library. See also news on other subjects.

International

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. ”

(Jun, UNHCR)

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” (May, Calp Network)

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

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. (May, PR Web)

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

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

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. (SDC and others)

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. (UNHCR)

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

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

Migration data portal: Disability and human mobility (Feb, Migration Data Portal)

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

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

Data on disability and migration – what do we know? estimates of 12 million displaced persons around the world being disabled, and emerging practices on data. (Feb, Data 4 SDGs)

Disability-inclusive data in migration: How far have we come? (Jan, Migration Data Portal)

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

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. (Jan, The New Humanitarian)

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. (Government Outcomes Lab)

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. (Dec, CALP Network)

Afghanistan

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

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.” (Save the Children)

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

Asia-Pacific

New report on OPD engagement in Humanitarian Action reflections from Bangladesh, Indonesia and Nepal. (May, CBM Global)

Australia

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.” (May, BMC Public Health)

Migrants with disability are discriminated against with 'impossible' health requirements, advocacy groups say. “We're working with a young man who came to Australia as an asylum seeker and had a stroke. The federal government supports him to live in a nursing home, but they won’t allow him access to the National Disability Insurance Scheme to receive the support he needs to live a good life in the community.” (Apr, SBS News)

Bangladesh

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” (Jun, 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.” (Mar, OHCHR)

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

East Africa

An unreported crisis: experiencing worst drought in fifty years (Jun, Age International)

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

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

Ethiopia

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.” (May, Research and Evidence Facility)

Germany

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

Iraq

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

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) (Feb, the Guardian)

Jordan

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

Kenya

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

A fundraising appeal to support people in Kenya paying the devastating price for a climate crisis they have done nothing to create. (CBM UK)

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. (Feb, InfoMigrants)

New Zealand

Girl, 12, denied residency because her autism does not meet 'acceptable standards of health'. (Apr, Sky)

New Zealand denies entry to autistic daughter of immigrant couple. “Rules do not allow people to move to New Zealand if they would impose a high cost to the health system”. (Apr, the Guardian)

Time to scrap ableist migration rules down under Áine, contributor to the Debrief, arguing for fair migration rules. (Apr, Overland)

Immigration policy discriminates against disabled “It’s become commonplace to read news stories about people with disabilities who have been denied New Zealand residency and face deportation.” (Mar, Stuff)

Pakistan

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

Philippines

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

Somalia

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" (Feb, Relief Web)

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. Furthermore, the Humanitarian Country Team in South Sudan has no systematic approach for the collection, analysis and use of either disability-disaggregated data or information on risks, capacities and unmet needs of persons with disabilities. This results in important information gaps on barriers to inclusion. In addition, communication barriers and lack of ‘reasonable accommodation’ in consultation meetings hinder the full and effective participation of persons with hearing, visual and other types of disabilities and make them dependent on family members and caregivers. " (links to pdfs, February, IFHV)

Syria

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

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

Turkey

Turkish man sparks outrage for kicking 70-year-old Syrian refugee woman in the head (May, 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. (Jan, Relief Web)

United Kingdom

Jamaicans with disabilities facing ‘unjust’ deportation from UK. “Most of the Jamaicans facing deportation next week on a government flight live with a disability or health problem and came to Britain as children” (May, Independent)

Non-verbal black teenager who has never left UK detained at immigration centre. “Boy who went missing from hospital arrested and held at Gatwick facility after being wrongly recorded as Nigerian” (Apr, the Guardian)

A Mural on Disability and Migration bringing together the disabled movement and asylum sector. (Youtube, Dec, Disability Murals)

United States

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

Yemen

Alarming new report on the dire situation for people with disabilities. 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.” (May, Humanity & Inclusion)