Event marks anniversary of groundbreaking humanitarian Charter

Posted on: Thursday, 18th May, 2017
One year anniversary event - World Humanitarian Summit

An event today organised by CBM and Handicap International in partnership with the UK Department for International Development (DFID), marked one year since the launch of the ground-breaking Charter on the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action at the World Humanitarian Summit.

The Charter on the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action endorsed by over 150 stakeholders including States, the European Commission, UN agencies, the International Committee of the Red Cross and many NGOs and disabled people's organisations, was launched by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the World Humanitarian Summit in Turkey last May. It recognises that people with disabilities are often excluded from humanitarian action and sets out key principles to make emergency response more inclusive. The event at Westminster University brought senior leaders from humanitarian organisations including Christian Aid, Islamic Relief, European Disability Forum, UNHCR and International Medical Corps, providing an opportunity to share experiences on implementing the Charter and for more organisations to endorse it. Four organisations - Save the Children, Leonard Cheshire, the Start Foundation and HelpAge International - all endorsed the Charter during the event. 

Kirsty Smith, Chief Executive of CBM UK says, “The introduction of the charter was a hugely positive step as it recognises that more needs to be done to ensure that people with disabilities are included in humanitarian responses. But by itself it will not bring about any change. We now need to turn the commitments made into concrete action. Our experiences have shown that much more can be achieved when people with disabilities themselves are included in planning and delivering humanitarian aid, and in rebuilding communities…We hope this event marks another positive step forward in ensuring that humanitarian response doesn’t exclude the most vulnerable and that people with disabilities are actively involved in responding to emergencies and rebuilding communities.”

Beverley Warmington, Director of DFID’s Conflict Humanitarian and Security Department chaired the session, reiterating the UK Government’s commitment to disability inclusion and urging more organisations to sign up to the Charter. Kirsty Smith, CEO of CBM UK also spoke at the event.

View and endorse the Charter here.

Read Kirsty Smith’s recent blog on meeting people with disabilities affected by Hurricane Matthew in Haiti, and why the Charter matters. 

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