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Reports and Global Policies

concerning Inclusion of Persons with disabilities 

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“The first ever World report on disability, produced jointly by WHO and the World Bank, suggests that more than a billion people in the world today experience disability. People with disabilities have generally poorer health, lower education achievements, fewer economic opportunities and higher rates of poverty than people without disabilities. This is largely due to the lack of services available to them and the many obstacles they face in their everyday lives. The report provides the best available evidence about what works to overcome barriers to health care, rehabilitation, education, employment, and support services, and to create the environments which will enable people with disabilities to flourish.”

The conflict in Syria has generated one of the largest refugee populations in our time, in great need of humanitarian assistance. Among them, there are older people, persons with disabilities and injuries that have specific needs which are not being addressed by humanitarian actors present in the refugee camps. This report is based on data from the camps in Jordan and Lebanon, and was produced by Handicap International and HelpAge with the aim to give evidence of the prevalence of persons with specific needs, and to call for humanitarian actors to include them in their programs. 

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Their findings show that this group is significantly represented among the Syrian refugees that were included in the survey – overall, 30% of the refugees have specific needs. Specifically, 22% of the refugees have an impairment, of which 6% have a severe impairment. In addition, nearly 16% have a chronic disease. Older people are overrepresented among those with specific needs. This report provides an in-depth analysis of the conditions, needs and barriers facing this population – and suggest a line of actions to include them in the programs aimed at assisting refugees. 

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"The Convention follows decades of work by the United Nations to change attitudes and approaches to persons with disabilities. It takes to a new height the movement from viewing persons with disabilities as “objects” of charity, medical treatment and social protection towards viewing persons with disabilities as “subjects” with rights, who are capable of claiming those rights and making decisions for their lives based on their free and informed consent as well as being active members of society." 

The signatories of this charter "commit to render humanitarian action inclusive of persons with disabilities, by lifting barriers persons with disabilities are facing in accessing relief, protection and recovery support and ensuring their participation in the development, planning and implementation humanitarian programmes." It has been endorsed by a range of States and governments, UN agencies, organisations involved in humanitarian contexts and organisations of persons with disabilities. It is not signed by MSF.

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