Inclusive development, now!
SDDC is a Swiss based network advocating for the rights and inclusion of persons with disabilities in Switzerland's international cooperation.
How can Switzerland ensure the rights of persons with disabilities in the Global South?
No guidelines, no priority. Switzerland needs guidelines to inform its work on the inclusion of persons with disabilities in its international cooperation. Current efforts on disability inclusion are small scale, ad-hoc and mostly segregating.
Nothing about us, without us! Switzerland must ensure the full and active participation of persons with disabilities throughout all processes affecting them, including in its international cooperation. Arrangements must be made to enable their participation.
What isn’t counted, doesn’t count. Switzerland has committed itself to be a leader on data collection, but it is not systematically collecting and disaggregating data on disability in its international programmes.
Leave no one behind in humanitarian crises. Persons with disabilities are disproportionately affected in humanitarian crises. Switzerland committed itself to making its humanitarian action inclusive of persons with disabilities, but it is not clear how it is living up to its commitment.
What isn’t budgeted for, doesn’t get done. Switzerland must sufficiently budget for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in its international cooperation and must commit itself not to finance programs and services that segregate persons with disabilities from the community.
The SDDC published an article in the June 2021 issue of the Medicus Mundi Switzerland (MMS) Bulletin on the role of Swiss international cooperation in advancing disability inclusion. It outlines Switzerland’s obligations under the CRPD in its international cooperation and humanitarian action, the current state of disability inclusion in Swiss international cooperation, and the recommendations of the SDDC. The contribution features as part of the MMS Bulletin #158 on Inclusion in international cooperation: commitment and reality.
On behalf of the SDDC, Mirjam Gasser of CBM Switzerland gave two radio interviews on the topic of the inclusion of persons with disabilities in relation to the current COVID-19 pandemic as well as the launch of the www.leave-no-one-behind.ch website. The interviews are in Swiss German.
On the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3. December 2020, the Swiss Disability and Development Consortium (SDDC) launches the website www.leave-no-one-behind.ch. The consortium, which includes CBM, FAIRMED, Handicap International and the International Disability Alliance, will use the website to provide up-to-date information on the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) by Switzerland in international cooperation. The website provides resources on inclusive development for persons with disabilities and sets out recommendations for the further implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
The first review of Switzerland before the UN Commitee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is expected to take place in the fall of 2021, when it will have to demonstrate where it stands in the implementation of the UNCRPD. Switzerland ratified the convention in 2014 and thereby committed itself to making its development cooperation and humanitarian aid inclusive.
The COVID-19 pandemic once again highlights the need for inclusive development cooperation and humanitarian aid. Persons with disabilities are among those most affected by the current crisis. They have had to overcome additional barriers and inequalities in all areas of life since the outbreak of the virus, in Switzerland and in the countries of the Global South.
Against this background, the SDDC is calling on Switzerland to ensure the following:
- the participation of persons with disabilities
- access to information for persons with disabilities
- the full social and economic inclusion of persons with disabilities
- the collection and reporting of data on disability