Persons with disabilities highlighted as Human Rights Council adopts resolution on Haiti disaster

 Yesterday and today (January 27 and 28, 2010), the Human Rights Council held its 13th special session under the title “The support of the HRC for the recovery process in Haiti after the earthquake of January 12, 2010: a human rights approach,” which has adopted a resolution that includes the following reference to persons with disabilities:

“Expresses its concern about the present human rights situation in Haiti, in particular the vulnerable situation of children, women, internally displaced persons, the elderly, persons with disabilities and wounded.”

Many speakers during this special session, including the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Haiti and the special representative of the Secretary General on the human rights of internally displaced persons, referred to persons with disabilities in their statements. The IDA also made a statement highlighting the special challenges faced by persons with disabilities in Haiti and the need to include their rights in all emergency and reconstruction efforts that are undertaken.

“The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has a specific article focused on situations of risk, based on the experience suffered by persons with disabilities all over the world, forgotten in situations of natural or man-made disaster,” said Jan Peter Strömgren, Chair of the IDA. “This must be avoided at all cost this time by ensuring that persons with disabilities have access to emergency services and that the information on these services is accessible to all persons with disabilities.”

The International Disability Alliance calls on the government of Haiti, the UN system, and all governments and humanitarian NGOs providing aide or assistance on the ground, to include a special focus on the inherent human rights of affected persons, especially those experiencing particular vulnerability, in their efforts in Haiti.


International Disability Alliance (IDA)
Press release on Haiti