Since the CRPD was adopted, national and multilateral agencies, the private sector and foundations have increased their efforts to include disability in their work. But the effectiveness of their strategies and initiatives vary significantly. This report explore their different approaches and provides advice for more effective action.

International cooperation is crucial to promote the rights of persons with disabilities. Since the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was adopted, there has been greater awareness of the importance of including disability as part of human rights, development and humanitarian efforts, as reflected by its inclusion in the 2030 Agenda and other international processes.

But this increased attention has not resulted in a significant growth in resource allocation. Persons with disabilities represent 15% of the global population, and they are among the most vulnerable people in every community. However, less than 1% of international aid around the world is allocated to support them.

Unless international aid to support their inclusion is significantly increased, the international pledge to leave no one behind, in particular in a post-COVID-19 scenario, will not be met.
In her last report as Special Rapporteur, Catalina Devandas analyses the different approaches that bilateral, multilateral and private donors are adopting to support persons with disabilities, highlighting mainstreaming strategies that led to progress made by some of the sector’s leading actors, and providing a series of recommendations going forward.

Based on a study specifically commissioned for its preparation, the report discusses progress and challenges in donor's approaches to disability-inclusive international cooperation, including policy development, programming, resource allocation, participation, research, capacity building and accountability. While progress can be seen, there’s a general lack of strategic planning and coordination, insufficient resources, and at times, approaches that are incompatible with the CRPD and human rights more broadly.

The report includes an overview of the obligations that countries adopted as signatories of the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities, and highlights the need to increase multi-sectorial cooperation, including organizations of persons with disabilities, in order to fulfill those commitments.

In its last section, the report maps out the general conditions that international efforts must meet to be disability-inclusive, and a series of recommendations provide a path to ensure that the inclusion of persons with disabilities is integrated across international cooperation policies and strategies through human rights-based approaches.

Recommendations include mainstreaming disability inclusion and complement it with disability-specific policies and programs, consulting persons with disabilities and their organizations in all decision-making processes and ensuring that they are both beneficiaries and agents of cooperation efforts, adopting specific markers to increase data collection and ensure accountability, and to make sure that persons with disabilities aren’t left out from COVID 19 relief programmes and international efforts.

UNDIS: a milestone in disability inclusive global action

In 2019, the UN launched a system-wide strategy to include disability across its work globally. Watch here the UNDIS announcement by Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
  • Copyright 2016