Disability - inclusive EU humanitarian action

28 November 2017
Our delegation with Commissioner Stylianides

EDF, Human Rights Watch and the Norwegian Refugee Council met today the European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides, to discuss recent developments and future plans to ensure the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the European Union (EU) actions in emergency response situations around the world, including its work to support refugees.

The meeting was arranged to discuss the work of the EU in including persons with disabilities in humanitarian crisis. This is a responsibility of the EU, based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) that it has ratified.

Commissioner Stylianides spoke of the EU’s commitment to the Sendai Framework for Action and the Charter of Including Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action. He also recalled the grave situations he has observed in his overseas missions where he has witnessed firsthand the situation of persons with disabilities in humanitarian crisis such as the situation on the Bangladesh border with Myanmar.

Shantha Barriga Rau from Human Rights Watch highlighted the important need for attention to mental health in all disasters and emergencies drawing on Human Rights Watch recent evaluation in Greece, and Sudan.

EDF President, Yannis Vardakastanis, underlined: “We thank the Commissioner for the commitment he has shown to ensure that persons with disabilities will be included in all the EU’s humanitarian action. We look forward to his presence next week at the 4th European Parliament of Persons with Disabilities where he will elaborate how his agency will address the situation of persons with disabilities in its future work.

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