CRPD committee issues statement on disability-inclusive DRR

A boat with accessibility ramp

A rescue boat with accessibility features from a flood-prone region of Bangladesh

As a member of the UN CRPD committee, I am very proud that we have issued a formal statement on the need to specifically include persons with disabilities in the process leading up to



the 3rd world conference on disaster risk reduction in Japan in 2015, and also inclusion in the outcome recommendations.

How did this happen?

Margareta Wahlström, UN Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) took time out of her busy schedule to talk to UN CRPD committee members about disability and DRR in the 12th session. The result of her visit was a strong commitment by members to issue a statement on disability-inclusion as the preparations for the world conference commence.

Why include disability?

Firstly, when the United Nations involves civil society in preparations and negotiations of particular world conferences, it does so through its ‘Major Group’ structures.  However, persons with disabilities do not have a specific major group to call their own, hence we have to ask to be included and participate, in an accessible way, every step of the way…

Secondly, the impact of a disaster or conflict is greater for persons with disabilities, we are more at risk during disasters and conflicts,  and disability is often the result of conflict or disaster;  read more from CBM’s Inclusive Emergency Response Unit.

If you are interested in this subject, you can read fellow blogger, Gordon Rattray’s wonderful stories.