Globally, around 15 per cent of the population are living with some kind of disability. An estimated 13 per cent of people worldwide are over the age of 60. More than 46 per cent of those who are over the age of 60 have a disability.
Humanitarian principles require that humanitarian assistance and protection are provided on the basis of need, without discrimination. No one should be excluded from humanitarian action, either deliberately or inadvertently. Yet there is still limited capacity among humanitarian actors to fulfil this commitment.
Discrimination based on disability, age and gender often combines with other forms of discrimination to deny older people and people with disabilities their right to assistance and participation in humanitarian action.
Purpose of the standards
The Humanitarian inclusion standards for older people and people with disabilities are designed to help address the gap in understanding the needs, capacities and rights of older people and people with disabilities, and promote their inclusion in humanitarian action.
They are designed both to strengthen the accountability of humanitarian actors to older people and people with disabilities, and to support the participation of older people and people with disabilities in humanitarian action. The standards can be used as guidance for programming, and as a resource for training and advocacy, particularly for influencing organisational policies and practice to be more inclusive.
The Humanitarian inclusion standards for older people and people with disabilities consist of nine Key inclusion standards, derived from the Nine Commitments of the Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability (CHS), and seven sets of sector-specific inclusion standards: protection; water, sanitation and hygiene; food security and livelihoods; nutrition; shelter, settlement and household items; health; and education.
Each chapter presents a set of standards with key actions to meet the standard, guidance notes to support the delivery of the actions, tools and resources, and case studies illustrating how older people and people with disabilities have been included in humanitarian responses. Case studies in some instances use text from external sources, or use terminology preferred by the organisation providing the information.
The sector inclusion standards are structured around three key areas of inclusion:
- data and information management
- addressing barriers
- participation of older people and people with disabilities, and strengthening of their capacities.
The sector-specific inclusion standards are intended to be used in conjunction with the Key inclusion standards.
For the purpose of these standards, ‘inclusion’ is considered in the context of older people and people with disabilities, although it is recognised that there are other at-risk groups who face barriers to access and participation and encounter discrimination on the grounds of status, including age, gender, race, colour, ethnicity, sexual orientation, language, religion, health status, political or other opinion, national or social origin.