Persons with disabilities are disproportionately affected by armed conflict and other situations of violence compared to persons without disabilities. Support mechanisms for accessing basic services such as water, sanitation, food, shelter and health care may be disrupted as well as existing environmental, communication and attitudinal barriers in accessing services may be further exacerbated. Moreover, humanitarian services are often not adapted to ensure that persons with disabilities can access them, and as a result, persons with disabilities are too often left out and left behind.
Following a three-year research project, the Geneva Academy is releasing a report focused on the situation of persons with disabilities in five states experiencing different levels of armed conflict or its aftermath (the DRC, Colombia, Palestine, Ukraine and Vietnam). The research investigates the impact of armed conflict on persons with disabilities and the application of the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and International Humanitarian Law (IHL). The report assesses the relationship between the CRPD and IHL and makes recommendations regarding a range of conflict specific issues including the proportionality assessment, effective warning systems, evacuation procedures and the treatment of prisoners of war and internees from a disability inclusive perspective.
On 9 May the ICRC and the Geneva Academy launched the research report at the ICRC Humanitarium. Alice Priddy, Senior Researcher at Geneva Academy, presented the key findings and recommendations from her report. This was followed by a panel discussion with key experts on IHL, CRPD and humanitarian response. The Geneva Academy research project is accompanied by a photography exhibition by Giles Duley on persons with disabilities and armed conflict which will take place on Quai Wilson from April 30 to May 30, 2019. During the event, Stephen Wilkinson, Global International Humanitarian Law Advisor at Diakonia, provided an introductory overview of the photography exhibition.
This event was jointly organised with the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights.