Breakfast briefing on disability inclusion in humanitarian action (Finnish Presidency)
On the 22nd of October EUD participated in the breakfast briefing on disability inclusion in humanitarian action. The briefing was organised by the Finish Presidency and took place at the Council of the European Union.
During the hearing representatives from the UNICEF gave a presentation and highlighted that persons with disabilities are disproportionately affected in situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies, and they face multiple barriers in accessing protection and humanitarian assistance. The UNICEF presented that the Charter on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action, launched in the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit, called for the development of guidelines supporting humanitarian actors to improve inclusion of persons with disabilities in emergency preparedness and responses. The Guidelines on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action will be launched soon. Moreover, earlier this year, European Commission’s Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations launched a Guidance Note on disability inclusion to guide the humanitarian work of EU-funded NGOs which can now be used to ensure that persons with disabilities receive necessary support.
EUD Policy Officer, Martyna Balciunaite, highlighted that during humanitarian emergencies some groups of persons with disabilities, for instance deaf persons, can remain unnoticed due to the fact that their disability is invisible, therefore proper identification systems must be in place to ensure that persons with invisible disabilities are not left behind and their needs are adequately addressed. For instance, provision of sign language interpretation in order to receive accurate information and communication is essential for deaf persons who are affected by humanitarian emergencies.
EUD would like to thank Finish Presidency for organising this event.