DR UK Stands in Solidarity with Disabled Palestinians

Mon,13 November 2023
News Equality & Rights
Disability Rights UK stands in solidarity with Disabled Palestinians. We are deeply concerned about the severe humanitarian crisis unfolding in Gaza, and we are committed to advocating for the protection of the rights and dignity of Disabled individuals in this time of crisis.

The conflict has had a profound and devastating impact on all members of the community, but Disabled people are particularly vulnerable during these times. The disruptions to infrastructure, access to healthcare and basic services exacerbate existing barriers and create new challenges that demand immediate attention and action. 

We also recognise history shows the impact a legacy of armed conflict has on the global Disabled community. We support the United Nations call for an immediate and sustained humanitarian truce in the Gaza region. 

We call upon all parties involved to recognise the universal Human Rights of Disabled people, which are the rights we all share, and to prioritise the needs of Disabled individuals in their response efforts. It is crucial that there is: 

1. Access to Healthcare: Disabled individuals must have continuous access to healthcare services, including essential medications, medical equipment and support from healthcare professionals. 

2. Safe Evacuation and Shelter: Disabled people must have equal access to safe evacuation routes and shelter facilities, ensuring that these locations are fully accessible and accommodating to their needs.    

3. Support for Mental Health: Recognising the severe psychological impact on Disabled individuals, it is essential to provide mental health support services, including counselling and therapy, to help them cope with trauma and stress.   

4. Protection from Discrimination: We vehemently condemn any forms of discrimination or violence against Disabled individuals and urge all parties to safeguard their rights as stipulated under international law. 

5. Accessibility and Inclusion: Relief and support mechanisms should be inclusive, taking into account the diverse needs of Disabled people, including those with mobility, sensory, cognitive and other impairments.  

We call on the international community, governments, humanitarian organisations and all other stakeholders to prioritise the protection and well-being of Disabled individuals in the region. This crisis highlights the importance of ensuring that human rights, inclusivity and accessibility are at the forefront of all relief and support efforts. We call on all parties to fully respect their obligations under International Humanitarian Law and human rights law, including the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – in particular Article 11 of that treaty, as well as the UN Security Council Resolution 2475 (2019) on person with disabilities during armed conflict. Nothing justifies targeting civilians and denial of their very basic human needs and rights. 

We firmly believe in the value of all human life and the necessity of pursuing peace through dialogue, understanding and consensus. We urge the UK government to leverage its influence and resources to call for a ceasefire. War, conflict, occupation and control are never the answer. 

We stand in solidarity with Disabled people in the region and remain committed to advocating for their rights, well-being and inclusion. Together, we must strive for a future in which all Disabled people can live with dignity, security and opportunity, regardless of their circumstances.