More effective support for disabled people in humanitarian emergencies

Press release, 19.06.2020

At its meeting on 19 June 2020, the Federal Council approved Switzerland's endorsement of the Charter on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action. This is in line with Switzerland's humanitarian policy and reaffirms its efforts to facilitate access to relief aid for disabled people and to make provisions for their particular needs.

People with disabilities are particularly vulnerable in humanitarian crises – such as armed conflicts or natural disasters – as they do not usually have the same capacities to access water, food or medical care. In order to make provisions for their particular needs in such emergency situations, the Charter on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action was drawn up by various states, UN agencies and civil society organisations.

The Charter sets out five principles:
- Non-discrimination and respect for the diverse needs of people with disabilities.
- Participation of disabled people in shaping humanitarian programmes.
- Inclusive humanitarian response and services geared to the needs of people with disabilities.
- Development of a global inclusive policy.
- Fostering of cooperation and coordination among humanitarian actors to improve the inclusion of disabled people.

In line with Swiss humanitarian policy

The Charter and its five principles reflect the objectives and values of Switzerland's humanitarian policy. By endorsing the Charter, Switzerland is underlining to its partner countries its commitment to continuing its efforts to improve the inclusion of disabled people in humanitarian action. The importance of this was reiterated by the Federal Council in its Dispatch on Switzerland's Strategy for International Cooperation 2021–24, which classifies people with disabilities as a particularly vulnerable group that must be protected in emergency situations.

Link to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

The Charter on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action was adopted at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul in May 2016. It is based on Article 11 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which Switzerland ratified in 2014. By acceding to the Convention, Switzerland committed itself to eliminating barriers for disabled people, protecting them from discrimination and fostering their participation in society on an equal basis with others.


Address for enquiries:

For further information:
FDFA Communication
Tel. +41 58 462 31 53
kommunikation@eda.admin.ch


Publisher:

The Federal Council
Federal Department of Foreign Affairs