PRESS RELEASE: Ukrainians with Disabilities Call on State Actors to Prioritize Persons with Disabilities During War Evacuations
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 1, 2022
UKRAINIANS WITH DISABILITIES CALL ON STATE ACTORS TO PRIORITIZE PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES DURING WAR EVACUATIONS
Fight for Right Ukraine, a national Ukrainian organization of persons with disabilities, welcomes the ongoing work of the Ukrainian government and emergency team in their efforts to protect persons with disabilities during this crisis and war.
However, the situation for people with disabilities continues to be perilous, as they have been excluded by the general coordinated efforts to evacuate. Many people with disabilities are disproportionately impacted and at significant additional risk during the ongoing war due to limited access to suitable supplies, information in accessible formats, safe evacuation pathways, inaccessible warning systems, and inaccessible evacuation centers. People with disabilities and older persons in Ukraine do not appear to be at the forefront of humanitarian efforts despite international conventions, international humanitarian law, and best practice standards and guidelines for inclusion that are to be upheld even in times of conflict.
“There are people [with disabilities] trapped, there are people [with disabilities] dying; we have been left behind. We have been trying to help ourselves, but we need help. We need accessible evacuation efforts prioritized for people with disabilities.” Yuliia Sachuk, the Chairperson for Fight for Right Ukraine, shares.
We are calling on all Ukrainian state actors to adhere to their obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), which was ratified in 2010. The Convention continues to apply, despite national emergency, armed conflict, or foreign occupation, as Article 11 of the UNCRPD covers.