The International Disability Alliance and the International Disability and Development Consortium have launched a Covid19 End-Discrimination campaign to call to raise awareness of examples of the discrimination that persons with disabilities experience in accessing services and call on the global community on the critical and urgent need to deliver disability inclusive COVID-19 responses at global, national and local levels.

The issue:
The one billion persons with disabilities are one of the most excluded groups in our society. The World Health Organisation and various other UN agencies are reporting that people with disabilities are being disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

The issue of discrimination is particularly pressing. Evidence suggests that persons with disabilities are among the hardest hit during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dangerous narratives have been emerging that people with disabilities cannot contribute to the response to COVID-19, make their own decisions and most worryingly, that their lives are not considered as worth saving compared to others – in direct contradiction of the UNCRPD and all other human rights instruments.

The Aim:
The campaign will raise awareness of examples of the discrimination that persons with disabilities experience in accessing services (such as health services) during the global pandemic. It will call on the global community on the critical and urgent need to deliver disability inclusive COVID-19 responses at global, national and local levels.

This phase of the campaign will launch to coincide with the World Health Assembly. The public facing elements of the campaign will support the advocacy statement given to the World Health Assembly. The campaign will use the World Health Assembly to highlight the particular barriers persons with disabilities experience accessing health services and why the need to act is so critical and urgent.

Key Campaign Asks Messages:

  • People with disabilities are being disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Information is not being made available in accessible formats, so persons with disabilities are denied their right to make informed decisions.
  • Negative attitudes mean persons with disabilities are often considered less of a priority to receive critical health care, or their lives seen as worth less than the lives of persons without disabilities.
  • Social distancing may be particularly challenging for persons with disabilities who require support with personal care.
  • Persons with disabilities are also more likely to live in institutional settings, which have been shown to be an environment where the COVID-19 virus is exacerbated.
  • Physical buildings (including health facilities, and testing and quarantine centers) are often inaccessible, and reasonable accommodations like interpreters are often not available.
  • In many situation, COVID-19 health responses have hindered access to other health services for persons with disabilities. Often, these health services are important and lifesaving, such as rehabilitation services and medicine for people with epilepsy.
  • Women and girls with disabilities face additional barriers to accessing sexual and reproductive health and rights. 

IDA-IDDC submission for the report of the SR on the right to education on COVID-19 and the realization of the right to education

In the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education, Dr Koumbou Boly Barry, is focusing her next report on COVID-19 and the realization of the Right to Education. The report will be presented on the 44th session of the Human Rights Council, scheduled between June 15th and July 3rd 2020. 

The International Disability Alliance (IDA) together with the International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) have prepared a submission highlighting the issues faced by learners with disabilities, including children, in accessing education during the COVID-19 crisis, including within the measures and alternative educational methods adopted by governments around the world to prevent the spreading of COVID-19. 

Commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the UN, 29 May 2020

The Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities, represented by Jose Viera, delivered a speech addressing the zero draft of the declaration for the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the UN.

"Learning from the unprecedented challenges in the last few months, we must build back better for a more equal, resilient, sustainable, and inclusive world. This means that all marginalized groups, such as persons with disabilities, and particularly those from underrepresented groups, must have equal opportunities."

We join the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities in their call for an inclusive world for all including for persons with disabilities. Learn more about the IDA & IDDC End-Discrimination in times of Covid19 campaign. Join us in this important call to ensure that no person gets left behind in the covid19 response and recovery efforts.

World Accessibility Awareness Day, 21 May 2020

The International Disability Alliance (IDA) and the International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) are sharing this statement on the Global Accessibility Awareness Day, Thursday 21 May 2020. 

World Health Assembly Statement, 17 May 2020

The Seventy-third of the World Health Assembly will take place in Geneva, Switzerland from 17 – 21 May 2020. The WHA is attended by delegations from all WHO Member States and focuses on a specific health agenda prepared by the Executive Board. 

The International Disability Alliance (IDA) and International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) members have submitted written statements to be considered under provisional agenda item 3 Address by WHO Director-General devoted to the COVID-19 pandemic response in advance of the opening of the Health Assembly. Access the official statements here.

Read our fuller statements below:

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