Upholding the human rights of people who have an intellectual disability in Ukraine

Cheeverstown wishes to support the views expressed by Inclusion Ireland in their letter to Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney:

'We wish to express our solidarity with all those experiencing the frightening situation in the Ukraine, but especially disabled people who often experience the greatest impact during war and conflict. Article 11 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities clearly states that :
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.”
The events of recent days have now placed Ukrainian people who have an intellectual disability at grave risk of harm. More than 80,000 children and thousands of adults who have an intellectual disability live in “care institutions” across Ukraine. There are very serious fears that their human rights will not be upheld if the situation escalates further. Right now, many shelters are inaccessible for disabled people, forcing people to shelter in place.
Our colleagues in Inclusion Europe are calling for:
• Securing supplies of daily necessities for people who have an intellectual disability, including essential medicines.
• Civil protection information in easy to read and accessible formats to help people who have an intellectual disability to understand the measures they need to take in dangerous situations including sheltering and ensuring adequate provisions.
• Monitoring of the situation in “care institutions” to ensure people are not abandoned or harmed.
• Specific support through humanitarian organisations for people who have an intellectual disability, whether living in the community or in institutions.
As a member of Inclusion Europe, we echo these calls. We are asking you to please take urgent action in using any channels available to you to keep children and adults with intellectual disabilities in institutions and in the community in Ukraine safe.'

Further information can be found on the following links:

https://inclusionireland.ie/news-events/ukraine/

War on Ukraine: Protect people with intellectual disabilities and families - Inclusion Europe (inclusion-europe.eu)

Protection and safety of persons with disabilities in Ukraine – European Disability Forum (edf-feph.org)

TJ Duggan

Chief Executive Officer

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