To celebrate the 1st Anniversary of the Charter on Inclusion of People with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action, Handicap International UK and CBM UK hosted a successful event last week in partnership with the UK Department for International Development.
Attended by 45 humanitarian actors, this special event held at Westminster University in London, aimed to increase UK mainstream NGO support for the Charter. The objective was successfully achieved as five organisations - Save the Children, Leonard Cheshire, the Start Network, HelpAge International and World Jewish Relief - all endorsed the Charter during the event. Two more UK based actors announced that they would also endorse the Charter very soon.
The charter was launched in May 2016, at the World Humanitarian Summit. Ban Ki-moon described it “as a ground-breaking Charter that places people with disabilities at the heart of humanitarian decision-making”. It acknowledges the fact that people with disabilities are often excluded from humanitarian action. The Charter also sets out the key changes to ensure non-discrimination in humanitarian responses with better coordination and implementation of humanitarian activities as well as greater participation of people with disabilities in decisions that affect them.
The Director of DFID’s Conflict, Humanitarian and Security Department (CHASE), Beverley Warmington, chaired the event and was supported by speakers from the European Disability Forum, Yannis Yallouros and Kirstin Lange, Senior Disability Advisor at the UNHCR.
Beverley Warmington reiterated the UK Government’s commitment to push the rights of disabled people and make sure no one is left behind in areas of armed conflict or disasters. She urged more UK organisations to endorse the Charter and deliver real change for disabled people caught in conflict and disaster situations.
“1 in 7 people affected by a crisis are disabled. Sadly we know from experience that, even if they represent a large number of vulnerable people, people with disabilities and injuries struggle to access the support they need and can easily find themselves excluded and forgotten in a crisis. The Charter brings an end to a great injustice; the next step is to ensure the commitments made are turned into concrete action. Handicap International will continue to work tirelessly to ensure this Charter is put into practice and that no one is left behind in humanitarian crises,” explains Aleema Shivji, Executive Director of Handicap International UK.
Marlene Sigonney, Handicap International UK
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More information about the charter: http://humanitariandisabilitycharter.org/
About Handicap International
Co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Handicap International is a charity working in situations of poverty and exclusion, conflict and disaster. We work tirelessly alongside disabled and vulnerable people to help meet their basic needs, improve their living conditions and promote respect for their dignity and fundamental rights.