While it is generally estimated that they represent at least 15 percent of every population, the true extent of the challenges faced by persons with disabilities in armed conflicts is currently not precisely known due to a lack of disability-aggregated data. What is known, however, is that armed conflict disproportionately affects persons with disabilities.
Persons with disabilities face increased existing or new barriers regarding access to services and support in terms of water, shelter, sanitation, food, healthcare, education, rehabilitation or transportation. They may also not be able to flee ongoing military operations occurring near them and might be left behind by family members or other support persons, putting them at a greater risk of attacks and violence, including sexual violence.
This is despite the fact that Article 11 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) obliges States parties to take all necessary measures for the protection and safety of persons with disabilities in armed conflict in accordance with their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law. Similarly, the UN Security Council in its Resolution 2475, which focused on the protection of civilians with disabilities, urged all parties to armed conflict to take measures in accordance with applicable international law obligations to protect civilians with disabilities.
The disproportionate impact of armed conflicts on persons with disabilities renders it necessary to make persons with disabilities more visible in the interpretation and implementation of international legal obligations applicable in armed conflict as well as humanitarian activities. For achieving this greater visibility and thus the ultimate inclusion of persons with disabilities in armed conflict, a multitude of stakeholders can play a positive and complementary role in working together towards that aim; including persons with disabilities and their representative organizations themselves, States, UN disability rights experts, humanitarian organizations, civil society or academia.
This online side event during the 14th Session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (COSP 14), co-organized with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), will contribute to the discussion on COSP 14, complementing the roundtable discussion on ‘Protecting the rights of persons with disabilities in armed conflict and humanitarian emergencies’ by focusing on the necessary precautions in the conduct of hostilities, as exemplified lately in the Geneva Academy Working Paper Military Briefing: Persons with Disabilities and Armed Conflict.
This side event aims at:
The following questions will guide the discussion:
English-Spanish interpretation will be provided, along with closed captioning (English only) and international sign language.
This online side event during the 14th Session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (COSP 14), co-organized with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), contributed to the discussion on COSP 14, complementing the roundtable discussion on ‘Protecting the rights of persons with disabilities in armed conflict and humanitarian emergencies’ by focusing on the necessary precautions in the conduct of hostilities, as exemplified lately in the Geneva Academy Working Paper Military Briefing: Persons with Disabilities and Armed Conflict.
Our new Working Paper Non-State Actors and Enforced Disappearances: Defining a Path Forward discusses the growing phenomenon of disappearances committed by non-state actors and the need to rethink the current definition of enforced disappearance to address this reality, improve the situation of victims and ensure proper accountability of non-state actors.
European Action External Service
Sima Samar, former Chairperson of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, will deliver the keynote speech at the 2021 Annual Conference of the Geneva Human Rights Platform.
This Military Briefing will discuss the role and evolution of IHL in the context of emerging technologies, and provide insights on how armed forces and governments approach these issues.
This event – co-organized with the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT) – will discuss the new Principles on Effective Interviewing for Investigations and Information Gathering – also known as the Méndez Principles.
This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, discusses the protection offered by international humanitarian law (IHL) in non-international armed conflicts (NIACs) and addresses some problems and controversies specific to IHL of NIACs, including the difficulty to ensure the respect of IHL by armed non-state actors.
This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, analyses the main international and regional norms governing the international protection of refugees. It notably examines the sources of international refugee law, including the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, and their interaction with human rights law and international humanitarian law.
UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré
Medical Aid for Palestinians / Ezz Al Zanoon
This project aims to ensure better protection of and assistance for persons with disabilities in situations of armed conflict or its aftermath by identifying legal obligations to protect and assist persons with disabilities during conflict, and the policies and practices required to put these obligations into effect.