Disability and Armed Conflict

This publication brings attention to the devastating impact conflict has on persons with disabilities and, crucially, highlights that many of the key international humanitarian law (IHL) provisions that serve to minimize the impact of armed conflict – such as the proportionality assessment and advanced effective warnings – are not being applied in a disability inclusive manner, resulting in persons with disabilities being killed, seriously injured or left behind as families flee armed attacks.

It offers eight key findings and recommendations for states, humanitarian organizations and the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The findings and associated recommendations relate to: the application of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in differing conflict settings, the relationship between the CRPD and IHL, as well as analysis of a number of key IHL norms, including adverse distinction and humane treatment from a disability perspective.

The findings also challenge the miss-conceptions that continue to dominate disability discourse: including incorrect understandings of ‘disability’, the under-inclusive focus on physical and sensory impairment, and prevention of primary impairment being wrongly included within disability-rights.

Images to Raise Awareness on this Issue

Determined to bring attention to the lives of persons with disabilities living in armed conflict, we have partnered with the photographer Giles Duley to tell the stories of some of those affected by armed conflict.

His photo exhibition, accessible to persons with a visual impairment, told the stories of persons with disabilities during and following armed conflicts including Odai in Gaza, Yasmine in Iraq, Betty in Uganda and Kholoud who fled Syria with her family and now lives in Holland after having spent almost three years in Lebanon.

Launch of the Publication at the ICRC

First to be Forgotten – Persons with Disabilities and Armed Conflict

Missed the launch of our publication on Disability and Armed Conflict? Listen to the launch event co-organized with the ICRC and which explored the impact of armed conflict on persons with disabilities.

AUTHOR

Picture of Alice Priddy

Alice Priddy

Alice Priddy's current main research areas concern the rights of persons with disabilities during and in the immediate aftermath of armed conflict.

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