Search results for Persons with disabilities

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Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

I.1 CRSV under the CRPD

The Convention enshrines and protects the rights of all persons with disabilities, a group that includes 'those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others'. Such barriers are particularly strong during conflicts: conflicts 'heighten the risks faced by persons with disabilities as they seek assistance, support and protection, and they impact access to and may lead to the collapse of essential services. Where services exist, inaccessible communication strategies often exclude persons with disabilities from identifying and utilizing them'.

CRSV is one of the many risks affecting persons with disabilities, especially women and children. In its Preamble, the CRPD highlights 'that women and girls with disabilities are often at greater risk, both within and outside the home, of violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation', and emphasises the need to incorporate a gender perspective in the promotion of persons with disabilities' human rights and fundamental freedoms.

International Humanitarian Law

III.9 Special protection against CRSV is owed to persons with disabilities

This obligation is general in nature: IHL does not expressly list what steps States must take to safeguard persons with disabilities from CRSV, but it does highlight that they are a particularly at risk section of the population 'as a result of the breakdown in access to - and accessibility of - support structures' in times of conflict.

In an IAC, persons with disabilities who do not participate in hostilities must enjoy the same general protection as that accorded to the 'sick and wounded'. States must endeavour to conclude agreements to have them removed from besieged or encircled areas, while taking into account and accommodating their specific needs. Further, States must give persons with disabilities priority in receiving relief by virtue of the 'medical assistance or care' they may require.

Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT)

III.5 Special protection against CRSV is owed to individuals and groups made vulnerable by discrimination or marginalisation

The principle of non-discrimination is fundamental to the interpretation and application of the CAT. Non-discrimination is included within the definition of torture in article 1(1), which explicitly prohibits specified acts when carried out for 'any reason based on discrimination of any kind'. Accordingly, the protection of certain minority or marginalised individuals or populations especially at risk of torture 'is a part of the obligation to prevent torture or ill-treatment'.

While implementing the CAT, States should ensure that their laws are not discriminatory and in practice applied in a sensitive, inclusive manner to all persons, 'regardless of race, colour, ethnicity, age, religious belief or affiliation, political or other opinion, national or social origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, mental or other disability, health status, economic or Indigenous status, reason for which the person is detained, including persons accused of political offences or terrorist acts, asylum-seekers, refugees or others under international protection, or any other status or adverse distinction'.

Introduction

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International Humanitarian Law

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International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD)

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Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT)

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Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

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Council of Europe System

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Further Readings

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