Swiss Disability And Development Consortium

SDDC

Swiss Disability and
Development Consortium

Inclusive development, now!

SDDC is a Swiss based network advocating for the rights and inclusion of persons with disabilities in Switzerland's international cooperation.

Copyright CBM

Key Messages

How can Switzerland ensure the rights of persons with disabilities in the Global South?

1

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.

2

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.

3

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.

4

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.

5

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.

What's new?

Swiss Radio Interviews on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities

By CbmSchweiz | 9 December 2020 | 0 Comments

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.

Radio Stadtfilter

SDDC launches new website and sets out recommendations for an inclusive COVID-19 response

By CbmSchweiz | 22 November 2020 | 1 Comment

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

Interview with Laxmi Devkota, Board Member of the Nepal Disabled Women’s Association

By CbmSchweiz | 22 November 2020 | 0 Comments

On the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Mirjam Gasser from CBM Switzerland holds an interview with Laxmi Devkota about the situation for persons with disabilities in Nepal during the COVID-19 pandemic.

How has the situation been for persons with disabilities in Nepal since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Video transcription

Mirjam Gasser from CBM Switzerland asks:

It has been one year since you have been in Switzerland for the international Day of Persons with Disabilities. A lot has changed apparently in the world since then with the onset of the covid-19 pandemic. So, I’m wondering: How is the situation of persons with disabilities in Nepal since the outbreak of the pandemic?

Laxmi Devkota from the Nepal Disabled Women’s Association responds:

Thank you for your question. And also thank you for choosing me. I’m really happy to be part of this interview about this situation.

When the coronavirus pandemic started here in Nepal and the Nepal government suddenly decided for the lockdown many people, including persons with disabilities, worried about what’s was going to happen. When they said this lockdown is going to happen many policemen were on the roads. People were not allowed to walk on the road. Even the shops were only open for two to three hours. During that time. the shops and the markets were crowded.

So persons with disabilities including blind people, deaf people and wheelchair users etcetera, they could not reach out to the shops keepers and they could not reach out to buy the things they wanted because it was really hard for them to get access to the shop keepers. So we were all worried.

There are many people who have come to Kathmandu from other valleys who are persons with disabilities. They were here for their education and their jobs. All the things were closed, and the transportation was closed as well, so they could not go back to their homes. They did not have any support and it was a really hard time for them to cope with the situation.

And especially there were many psychological situations going on out here. We were having problems. I think, women with disabilities have suffered a lot throughout this lockdown.


What kind of barriers are women and girls facing during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Video transcription

Mirjam Gasser from CBM Switzerland asks:

Can you tell us a little bit more about the barriers that women and others with disabilities are facing during the pandemic?

Laxmi Devkota from the Nepal Disabled Women’s Association responds:

Yes. Number one thing is the barrier to their employment. Number two: Access to the market. Three: They could not refill their groceries; they could not have their basic needs during this lockdown. It was difficult for them to survive and get the things they wanted.

And the other thing is the psychological effect on the disability community. And another thing is also during this lockdown there are many cases of domestic violence and other types of violence.

And also, they have not been able to go to the hospitals. Even if they had to go to the hospital for the regular check-up, the hospital would ask for the PCR-Test to be done and that also the results should be negative. It was really difficult for them to cope with – in every area.


How has your personal situation been during the COVID-19 pandemic ? What challenges have you faced personally?

Video transcription

Mirjam Gasser from CBM Switzerland asks:

How has your personal situation been during this pandemic so far? What have been challenges for you personally?

Laxmi Devkota from the Nepal Disabled Women’s Association responds:

Talking about myself, it was also quite hard for me because it has affected me psychologically, mentally. During this time there were many communicational problems. There was much information that was disseminated by the government

talking about the guidelines and everything related to coronavirus. But due to the communication problems, because, initially, there was no sign language interpretation service provided by the Nepal government and we did not have access to the information going around.

The one thing I’d like to share is that: I used to go to the market and every person were wearing masks. Even I was wearing a mask. It’s mandatory. But what happens is that: If they are wearing a mask – If I ask them about the price and about certain things and they would wear a mask and talk, it was really hard for me to understand what the price tag was and what they were saying to me because I cannot listen and they are wearing a mask. It was difficult for me to connect and communicate with the shop keepers. And they would not even look at me while saying the price. And also, there is not the tendency of giving the correct information through the written format or any other format for telling the price tag of certain things. So, I used to return home taking nothing with me.

And also, in addition, we had almost lost the communication with most of our family members because we were not able to meet, and we were not able to see and check up on them. It was really a mental pressure as well.


Today is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. What is one key message you would like to address towards the Swiss Government on the situation in Nepal regarding persons with disabilities?

Video transcription

Mirjam Gasser from CBM Switzerland asks:

Today is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. What is one key message that you would like to address towards the Swiss Government on the situation in Nepal regarding persons with disabilities?

Laxmi Devkota from the Nepal Disabled Women’s Association responds:

I think, for the international disability day, it’s good that we all celebrate this day every year. Even here in Nepal, we celebrate this through our different slogans and programmes. We do rallies. We also do awareness programmes during this day.

Maybe we should try more reaching out to the woman with disabilities in the rural areas as well. I think that’s the most important thing for now: to reach out.

Maybe the Swiss government could also contact or collaborate with the Nepal government to know the exact situation.

Mirjam Gasser from CBM Switzerland intervenes and asks:

What you are saying is actually to leave no one behind and to reach out to regions and to those who live far from the center, right?

Laxmi Devkota responds:

Yes, that’s it exactly. I think, we should reach out to every people because there are many people in the rural areas who cannot be reached. So, I think we should all come up together for this.

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