What we do
We promote, support and monitor the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, especially the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC).
We raise awareness among Swiss decision makers, political leaders and the Swiss international cooperation community about the rights and inclusion of persons with disabilities in line with the CRPD and other frameworks such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with its key principle « Leave No One Behind ».
Our Recommendations for the Swiss Government on the Implementation of the CRPD in International Cooperation
- Develop guidelines for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in Switzerland’s international development and humanitarian action by June 2022. This should include DRR and consider the disproportionate consequences of COVID-19 on persons with disabilities. The guidelines should translate into a plan of action with measurable and tangible targets and be mainstreamed across all other strategies in Switzerland’s international cooperation. The guidelines must also be adequately resourced with personnel and budget, be regularly monitored and reported on in SDC’s annual reports and effectiveness reports, and should be both internal and external facing. A twin-track approach must be adopted to ensure that Switzerland’s international cooperation efforts reach persons with disabilities both by targeting them and by mainstreaming their concerns. Special focus should be placed on those persons with disabilities that are most marginalized and underrepresented, including but not limited to: women, girls, boys, men, youth, elderly, LGBTIQ+, refugees, internally displaced, indigenous, persons with psychosocial disabilities, intellectual disabilities and deaf blindness.
- Ensure that in line with the CRPD, the rights of persons with disabilities are mainstreamed into all newly developed or revised strategies of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs on international cooperation and humanitarian aid.
Meaningfully consult with persons with disabilities and their representative organizations and actively involve them throughout all strategy, policy and programme processes (including planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation) regarding Switzerland’s international cooperation as well as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (i.e. participation in the Agenda 2030 advisory group). This is to ensure their effective participation in decisions affecting them, in line with Art. 4.3 CRPD and General Comment No. 7. Provide capacity-building, funding and reasonable accommodation to organizations of persons with disabilities so that they can meaningfully participate in such consultations (General Comment No. 7).
Ensure that the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in and by Switzerland respects and promotes the rights of persons with disabilities, through the Swiss Sustainable Development Strategy 2020-2030 that is currently being developed as well as its quadrennial action plans. The “Leave No One Behind” principle should be prioritized while considering the disproportionate consequences of COVID-19 on persons with disabilities.
Systematically collect and disaggregate data on disability, including for all COVID-19 relief, protection and recovery measures, by using as a minimum standard the Washington Group Short Set of Questions and the Washington Group/UNICEF Child functioning model to ensure that persons with disabilities access all services and programs on an equal basis with others. This must include the collection of data on the situation of persons with disabilities living in institutions. At the same time, we recommend using the human rights indicators of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to track and report on the implementation of the CRPD and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well as the COVID-19 response.
Fully implement the Charter as well as the IASC Guidelines on the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action and therefore render Swiss humanitarian action inclusive of persons with disabilities by lifting barriers persons with disabilities face in accessing information, relief, protection and recovery support, such as during the COVID-19 crisis.
Provide for CRPD compliant budgeting by applying the twin-track approach to the inclusion of persons with disabilities. This includes but is not restricted to reserving funds for reasonable accommodation (at least 2% of each budget) to enable participation of persons with disabilities to access mainstream development and humanitarian programs; as well as specific programs that are addressing systemic historical discrimination faced by persons with disabilities. Funds to NGOs, the private sector and multilateral agencies must as well be in line with the CRPD, upholding the principles of equality, non-discrimination and participation. Consequently, current financial support to programs or partners not in line with the CRPD need to be either re-aligned with the CRPD or to be stopped.