Posted 18.08.2021

Disabled people and their organisations (Disabled Peoples Organisations - DPOs) were very much locked out of COVID-19 emergency responses, leading to disabled people bearing the brunt of the worst impacts of the pandemic.

State parties have duties on delivery of rights under Article 11 of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Disabled People (CRPD) that disabled people and their organisations should be involved in emergency response planning, which we were very much locked out of leading to disabled people bearing the brunt of the worst impacts of the pandemic.

General Comment 7 from the UNCRPD is explicit about State parties (including Councils) duties to include disabled people and their representative organisations in the development of policies and strategies.

States parties should include the obligation to closely consult and actively involve persons with disabilities, through their own organizations, in legal and regulatory frameworks and procedures across all levels and branches of Government.

In situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies (art. 11), it is important for States parties and humanitarian actors to ensure the active participation of and coordination and meaningful consultation with organizations of persons with disabilities, including those at all levels representing women, men and children with disabilities of all ages. This requires the active involvement of organizations of persons with disabilities in the development, implementation and monitoring of emergency-related legislation and policies, and the establishment of priorities for aid distribution, in accordance with article 4 (3). States parties should promote the establishment of organizations of internally displaced persons or refugees with disabilities that are enabled to promote their rights in any situation of risk, including during armed conflicts.

Our DPO COVID-19 Coalition has delivered a solid funding programme, built strong enduring relationships and added value to the DPO movement - despite the challenges of building a new consortium during a national emergency.

Read more about the DPO COVID-19 NET Emergency Fund and stories from DPOs.