While it is generally estimated that they represent at least 15 percent of every population, the true extent of the challenges faced by persons with disabilities in armed conflicts is currently not precisely known due to a lack of disability-aggregated data. What is known, however, is that armed conflict disproportionately affects persons with disabilities.
Persons with disabilities face increased existing or new barriers regarding access to services and support in terms of water, shelter, sanitation, food, healthcare, education, rehabilitation or transportation. They may also not be able to flee ongoing military operations occurring near them and might be left behind by family members or other support persons, putting them at a greater risk of attacks and violence, including sexual violence.
This is despite the fact that Article 11 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) obliges States parties to take all necessary measures for the protection and safety of persons with disabilities in armed conflict in accordance with their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law. Similarly, the UN Security Council in its Resolution 2475, which focused on the protection of civilians with disabilities, urged all parties to armed conflict to take measures in accordance with applicable international law obligations to protect civilians with disabilities.
The disproportionate impact of armed conflicts on persons with disabilities renders it necessary to make persons with disabilities more visible in the interpretation and implementation of international legal obligations applicable in armed conflict as well as humanitarian activities. For achieving this greater visibility and thus the ultimate inclusion of persons with disabilities in armed conflict, a multitude of stakeholders can play a positive and complementary role in working together towards that aim; including persons with disabilities and their representative organizations themselves, States, UN disability rights experts, humanitarian organizations, civil society or academia.
This online side event during the 14th Session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (COSP 14), co-organized with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), will contribute to the discussion on COSP 14, complementing the roundtable discussion on ‘Protecting the rights of persons with disabilities in armed conflict and humanitarian emergencies’ by focusing on the necessary precautions in the conduct of hostilities, as exemplified lately in the Geneva Academy Working Paper Military Briefing: Persons with Disabilities and Armed Conflict.
This side event aims at:
The following questions will guide the discussion:
English-Spanish interpretation will be provided, along with closed captioning (English only) and international sign language.
This online side event during the 14th Session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (COSP 14), co-organized with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), contributed to the discussion on COSP 14, complementing the roundtable discussion on ‘Protecting the rights of persons with disabilities in armed conflict and humanitarian emergencies’ by focusing on the necessary precautions in the conduct of hostilities, as exemplified lately in the Geneva Academy Working Paper Military Briefing: Persons with Disabilities and Armed Conflict.
The Geneva Human Rights Platform is collaborating with the Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria and OHCHR in the development of an online database aimed at assessing the impact of the UN human rights treaty body system.
In our new Working Paper The United Nations Treaty Bodies in a Transition Period – Progress Review, Professor Olivier de Frouville shares his own views on the work of UN treaty bodies during the period running from March to December 2020.
The 2021 Annual Conference will discuss the connectivity between national human rights actors and the Geneva-based international mechanisms.
VOA, via Wikimedia Commons
This online IHL talk aims at shining light on some of the many legal, political and protection-related challenges stemming from the situation in Afghanistan.
This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, examines the sources of international humanitarian law (IHL). It provides an introduction to the key principles and terminology of IHL.
This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, looks at the sources from which public international law rules stem and at the entities that are empowered with the capacity of law-making in the international legal order. It aims at enabling participants to develop a global perception of the international normative system.
This research aims at building a common understanding and vision as to how states and the relevant parts of the UN system can provide a concrete and practical framework to address human rights responsibilities of armed non-state actors.
Olivier Chamard/Geneva Academy