The Rights of Refugees and Migrants with Disabilities

This meeting was a side-event of the Conference of Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It explored the issue of refugees and migrants with disabilities.

The struggled integration of refugees with disabilities into the labour market bolsters the severity of the global refugee crisis.

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According to European Pillars of Social Rights, disability is taken into the humanitarian considerations when assessing refugee status, but untrained personnel frequently struggle to spot refugees with intellectual disabilities. Further problems emerge when reception centres are ill equipped to accommodate disabilities.

The international community has to reaffirm its commitments to New York Declaration by improving the Refugee Response Framework. Non-discrimination screening must be held and need-based assistance must be provided.

The World Food Programme has begun efforts to ensure food accessibility to all refugees. Ms. Iseminger anticipated that a data collection process will contribute to the creation of a disability handbook to assess and address disabled refugee needs going forward.

Refugees with disability must be protected to ensure no one is left behind.

Meeting: Persons with disabilities on the move- the rights of refugees and migrants with disabilities

Date/Location: Tuesday, 13th June 2017; 13:15 to 14:30; Conference Room 4, United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY

Speakers: Ms. Diane Kingston, Deputy Director of CBM International Advocacy and Alliances; Mr. Michel Servoz, Director General for Employment, European Commission; Ms. Mia Farah, Inclusion International – ‘Working with refugees with disabilities in Lebanon;’ Mr. Andrew Painter, Senior Policy Advisor of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees – ‘Global Compact on Refugees;’ Mr. Craig Mokhiber, Deputy Assistant Secretary-General, Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights – ‘Global Compact on Migration;’ Ms. Michelle Iseminger, Senior External Partnerships Officer-in-charge, World Food Programme – ‘Including persons with disabilities in mainstream programmes.’

Written by: WIT Representative Edward Chan

Edited by: WIT Representative Mariel Brunman

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