World

Disability-Inclusive Peacebuilding: State of the Field and the Way Forward

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Summary

  • Legal and policy frameworks developed over the past fifteen years have advanced disability rights worldwide, but the peacebuilding field has not prioritized the inclusion of people with disabilities. As a result, most are routinely excluded from peacebuilding.

  • When people with disabilities are included in peacebuilding, the approach is uneven, with some groups prioritized over others.

  • Other major gaps in disability-inclusive peacebuilding are the lack of disability-disaggregated data on peacebuilding programs and the failure of peacebuilding organizations and governments to prioritize hiring people with disabilities among their own staff.

  • Disability rights has proved to be an issue that can unify groups across conflict lines. The peacebuilding field would benefit from greater attention to the potential of this issue to catalyze peacebuilding and to the unifying role that is often played by organizations of persons with disabilities (OPDs) in conflict situations.

  • Peacebuilding organizations and governments should eliminate barriers to participation and improve accessibility, plan and budget for inclusion, partner with OPDs, and make all programs inclusive while also developing dedicated programs to further the inclusion of people with disabilities in peacebuilding.