All Under One Roof
Annex 1 Guiding Frameworks
These guidance materials both align with and contribute to the larger body of work around people-centred humanitarian response and ensuring the centrality of protection in humanitarian action. Below is a description of the key global frameworks that highlight the commitment towards non-discrimination and inclusion of persons with disability that both frame and should be understood in conjunction with these materials.
The Right to Adequate Housing was recognised as part of the right to an adequate standard of living in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights has underlined that the right to adequate housing should not be interpreted narrowly, and that access should be equal and non-discriminatory for all members of society. One criteria is accessibility: housing is not adequate if the specific needs of disadvantaged and marginalized groups are not taken into account. The right to adequate housing does not just mean that the structure of the house itself must be adequate. There must also be sustainable and non-discriminatory access to facilities essential for health, security, comfort and nutrition. Security of tenure is another challenge for persons with disabilities, in particular those with an intellectual or psychosocial disability14.
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is an international human rights treaty of the United Nations adopted in 2006, intended to protect the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities. The CRPD affirms the need for humanitarian assistance and protection efforts to be inclusive of persons with disabilities. Two of the most relevant articles for shelter and settlements programming are:
Article 9 – Accessibility
To enable persons with disabilities to live independently and participate fully in all aspects of life, States Parties shall take appropriate measures to ensure to persons with disabilities access, on an equal basis with others, to the physical environment, to transportation, to information and communications, including information and communications technologies and systems, and to other facilities and services open or provided to the public, both in urban and in rural areas. These measures, which shall include the identification and elimination of obstacles and barriers to accessibility shall apply to, inter alia: a) Buildings, roads, transportation and other indoor and outdoor facilities, including schools, housing, medical facilities and workplaces; b) Information, communications and other services, including electronic services and emergency services.
Article 11 - Situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies
States Parties shall take, in accordance with their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law, all necessary measures to ensure the protection and safety of persons with disabilities in situations of risk, including situations of armed conflict, humanitarian emergencies and the occurrence of natural disasters.
The Charter on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action was developed in advance of the World Humanitarian Summit in 2016 by over 70 stakeholders from States, UN agencies, the international civil society community and global, regional and national organisations of persons with disabilities. The Charter aims to significantly improve living conditions of persons with disabilities during emergencies. Signatories of the Charter signatories commit to implementing practical measures to ensure people with disabilities can fully benefit from humanitarian aid. The Charter’s goad is to render humanitarian action inclusive of persons with disabilities, by lifting barriers persons with disabilities are facing in accessing relief, protection and recovery support and ensuring their participation in the development, planning and implementation humanitarian programmes.
The Humanitarian inclusion standards (HIS) for older people and people with disabilities are designed to help address the gap in understanding the needs, capacities and rights of older people and people with disabilities, and promote their inclusion in humanitarian action. They provide guidance on both strengthening the accountability of humanitarian actors to older people and people with disabilities, and supporting the participation of older people and people with disabilities in humanitarian action. The Humanitarian inclusion standards for older people and people with disabilities are designed to be used in conjunction with the Sphere stand
The IASC Guidelines for Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action were developed in 2019 as a tool to help ensure the inclusion of persons with disabilities in all sectors and in all phases of humanitarian action. The guidelines set out essential actions that humanitarian actors must take in order to effectively identify and respond to the needs and rights of persons with disabilities who are most at risk of being left behind in humanitarian settings. The recommended actions in each chapter place persons with disabilities at the centre of humanitarian action, both as actors and as members of affected populations.
The Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability (CHS) sets out Nine Commitments that organisations and individuals involved in humanitarian response can use to improve the quality and effectiveness of the assistance they provide. The CHS places communities and people affected by crisis at the centre of humanitarian action. As a core standard, the CHS describes the essential elements of principled, accountable and high-quality humanitarian aid.
Sphere was created to improve the quality of humanitarian responses and be accountable for humanitarian action. This guidance material is in line with and should be read in conjunction with the 2018 edition of the Sphere handbook.
Sustainable Development Goals (2015). Disability is referenced in various parts of the SDGs and specifically in parts related to education, growth and employment, inequality, accessibility of human settlements, as well as data collection and monitoring of the SDGs. Goal 11 describes efforts to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe and sustainable. To realise this goal, Member States are called upon to provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, such as persons with disabilities. In addition, the proposal calls for providing universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces, particularly for persons with disabilities.
The Sendai framework for Disaster Risk Reduction was adopted in 2015 at a United Nations World Conference in Sendai, Japan. It recognises people with disabilities as equal actors and calls for data disaggregation by age, gender, and disability. The Sendai framework also requires that all disaster preparedness measures be followed by a "universal design": products, devices, systems and services should be designed in such a way that they are as usable as possible for all people.
The Grand Bargain (2016) is an agreement that emerged from the World Humanitarian Summit, between some of the largest donors and humanitarian organisations to better serve those impacted by humanitarian crises. It includes commitments to meaningful participation and more inclusive humanitarian response.
Habitat III: The New Urban Agenda was adopted at the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) in Quito, Ecuador in 2016. It includes a stand-alone paragraph on disability inclusion along with mentions of persons with disabilities throughout every aspect of the document, from non-discrimination, to affordable housing, to public services, to accessibility in the built environment, to access to information and communication technologies. It states that “Accessible and disability inclusive urban planning is “universal design” and can be realised everywhere. This means that urban development can and must be disability inclusive in all contexts, sectors, policy frameworks and regulatory structures.”, and that “Participation of disability stakeholders is essential. Persons with disabilities and the organisations that they lead are stakeholders, rights holders and agents in the urban development process.”
The Inclusive Data Charter was launched in 2018 to advance the availability and use of inclusive and disaggregated data so that governments and organisations better understand, address, and monitor the needs of all people and ensure no one is left behind.
In the process of mainstreaming disability within your programming it will be useful to familiarise yourself with the above frameworks along with any organisational policies and national frameworks that exist. Some agency specific examples include: