Disability Inclusive Disaster Risk Management: Voices from the field & good practices

Report
from Christian Blind Mission
Published on 17 May 2013 View Original

CBM and partners launch key publication on Disability Inclusive Disaster Risk Management

As disasters have such a huge impact on human lives, it is important to make Disaster Risk Management inclusive to all. CBM and its partners have launched a key publication on good practices in this important field. It gives great examples of disability inclusive Disaster Risk Management, showing persons with disabilities as active participants in Disaster Risk Response interventions.

What Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction means?

Disasters have a huge impact on human infrastructure, lives and livelihoods. They can result from natural causes (earthquakes, floods, cyclones, etc.) or from human-influenced factors (like climate change and conflicts), which can lead to food insecurity and displacement of large populations.

While it remains crucial to understand and reduce the human effect in creating disasters, natural causes will continue. The key in diminishing their impact is to reduce people’s vulnerability. Through inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) programmes, incorporated in human development plans and poverty reduction programmes, risks can be reduced and communities’ resilience to disasters can be strengthened.

Persons with disabilities are often overlooked throughout the disaster management cycle and especially during relief operations, and are seldom considered as important actors in conflict prevention even though they are often more exposed during conflicts and displacement. The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), in its articles 11 and 32, requires that persons with disabilities benefit from and participate in disaster relief, emergency response and disaster risk reduction strategies.

About this publication

This publication would like to contribute with advocating for a more inclusive DRR where persons with disabilities are active participants and not overlooked in relief and response actions. The practices and experiences presented here are challenging the stereotype of persons with disabilities as helpless victims, and instead showing them as effective agents in changing this exclusionary system. Their voices are introduced here to demonstrate that with the right attitude, knowledge and by making sure to provide equal opportunities for all, inclusion is possible.

Through these testimonies and individual stories, the capacity of persons with disabilities and their families in making disaster risk reduction plans and programs inclusive are shown. If supported by well-informed and disability-aware humanitarian organisations, governmental authorities and international organisations, there is possibility to make sure that persons with disabilities, 15% of the world’s population, have equal opportunity to improve their resilience towards disasters.

The good practices

Eleven good practices of Disability inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction experiences have been gathered that show concrete practical examples of how persons with disabilities are active participants in various DRR interventions. Organisations developing sustainable resilience mechanisms to disasters and climate change effects have become aware of the added value that trained and knowledge persons with disabilities bring.