UK government initiatives to address ‘global injustice’ of discrimination against disabled people
At the inaugural Global Disability Summit last week on the 23rd and 24th July, the UK Department for International Development (DFID) called for action to address the 'global injustice' of discrimination against persons with disabilities. The summit, held in London at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, was co-hosted by the Department for International Development, International Disability Alliance, and the Government of Kenya.
There are an estimated 1 billion people living with disabilities worldwide, with 800 million in low and middle income countries. As part of the UK's commitment to improving the lives of persons with disabilities worldwide, the government has announced that they will fund new initiatives to help break down barriers.
These initiatives include two DFID-funded programmes led by UK-based charity Sightsavers:
- The UK AID Connect programme consortium, led by Sightsavers, includes the Institute of Development Studies, International Disability Alliance and ADD International, and partners include Standard Chartered Bank, Youth Career Initiative, BBC Media Action, Development Initiatives, Benetech and Humanity and Inclusion UK. The programme will aim to generate grassroots evidence; academic, analytical expertise in gender, poverty, participation and exclusion; and private sector know-how and commitment to investing in and employing people with disabilities.
- The Disability Inclusive Development (DID) programme consortium, led by Sightsavers, includes the Institute of Development Studies, International Disability Alliance, ADD International, BBC Media Action, BRAC, Humanity & Inclusion, Leonard Cheshire Disability, Light for the World, Sense International and Social Development Direct. The programme will aim to achieve long-term improved wellbeing and inclusion for people with disabilities in low and middle-income countries, through increased equitable access to quality health services and health outcomes, increased equitable access to quality education and educational attainment, and increased equitable access to jobs/self-employment and improved livelihoods.
You can read the summit's opening speech from Penny Mourdaunt, International Development Secretary, in full here, including the introduction in British Sign Language, and the closing speech is also on the DFID website. The full programme and livestream links are also available
Here on Eldis, you can browse a wealth of documents relating to disability and international development, including a recent paper from Pauline Oosterhoff on Sexual and reproductive health rights of persons with disabilities.
Photo credit: DPO Access Bangladesh Foundation, in Dhaka, supports an association of formers beggars turned street hawkers | Andy Isaacson, Australian Dept of Foreign Affairs | Flickr