Women’s Refugee Commission’s Work with Displaced Persons with Disabilities
Refugees and displaced persons with disabilities are at the center of our work, and we seek to promote their voices and participation in all of our activities. We support persons with disabilities to identify their concerns and possible solutions, bridging the gap between this group and those dedicated to carrying out assistance programs.
- Promote change in practice through training and workshops with international organizations as well as with local, in-country disability organizations. These workshops have already been successfully implemented in India, Uganda and Bangladesh, the Philippines, Thailand and Kenya. We also provide ongoing technical advice to the country offices of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) on including disability concerns in their programs.
“Attendees were enthusiastic and committed. Great to see refugees with disabilities, disabled people’s organizations and UNHCR all together to share their issues and recommendations for moving forward.”
-Comment from a participant in the workshop in Kampala, Uganda
- Support disabled people’s organizations in target countries in working with both those agencies setting policies, like UNHCR, and displaced persons with disabilities themselves.
- Assist UNHCR in rolling out its global disability guidance by working with both the agency’s headquarters in Geneva and country offices to consider issues faced by persons with disabilities as they are assessing current programs and planning new ones.
- Analyze, document and share lessons learned with the wider humanitarian community. We are conducting research to assess how UNHCR's guidance is being implemented, the barriers and successes, as well as its impact on the lives of refugees and displaced people with disabilities.
- Advocate for change globally with donor, policy maker and humanitarian workers. Lessons from countries where we have worked so far will be used to inform advocacy campaigns focused on improving access to services for persons with disabilities in crisis-affected areas throughout the world.
Support the voice of refugees with disabilities. Refugees and displaced persons with disabilities are at the centre of our work, and we seek to facilitate their participation and voice in all our activities. Examples of such approaches include facilitating activities with refugees themselves to formulate ideas for change which they can then present to organizations and stakeholders in workshops, bridging the gap between persons with disabilities and the implementers of refugee programs.
- Find our Research and Resources on working with refugees and displaced people with disabilities.
The Women’s Refugee Commission played a key role in developing UNHCR’s Conclusion on Refugees with Disabilities and Other Persons with Disabilities Protected and Assisted by UNHCR. We supported a coalition of organizations to advocate for specific language and issues that would help countries identify and serve refugees with disabilities. We also assisted and advised UNHCR in developing their operational Guidance on Working with Persons with Disabilities in Forced Displacement.
“We the CMC/BMC are delighted as we have got a workshop with disabilities. Things we liked (were) participation of persons with disabilities; they are honored as human beings in the workshop; (and) group discussions with all to solve problems. We want this type of workshop in the future in the camp.”
-Comments from Community Leaders about the workshop conducted in Nayapara Refugee Camp, Bangladesh)