The World Health Organization reports that rates of violence are 4-10 times greater among persons with disabilities than non-disabled persons. Consultations with persons with disabilities conducted by the Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC) in seven countries suggest that women and girls with disabilities may be particularly vulnerable to gender-based violence in conflict and post-conflict settings. However, they do not have the same access to prevention and response programs as other community members.
While agencies are increasingly aware of the need for greater disability inclusion, they also need practical, proven strategies for effective inclusion, and the technical tools or resources to adapt their programs. To help build capacity in the humanitarian community, WRC is currently partnering with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on the implementation of the agency’s Need to Know Guidance for Working with Persons with Disabilities in Forced Displacement in seven pilot countries. In this work, we have consulted with over 210 men and 260 women with disabilities (including care givers) in refugee and displaced persons settings in India, Uganda, Bangladesh, Thailand, Nepal, Ethiopia and Philippines (Mindanao). More than 340 humanitarian actors have attended our workshops. Refugees with disabilities and their families also actively participate in these events.