In 2016, the United Nations Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Working Group established a Task Team to develop IASC Guidelines on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action (herein referred to as IASC Disability Guidelines). The Task Team membership spans UN agencies, humanitarian actors, NGOs and organizations of persons with disabilities (DPOs) and includes Member States as observers. The Task Team is co-chaired by the International Disability Alliance, Handicap International and UNICEF.
The development of IASC Disability Guidelines mark a significant step in advancing accountability for the inclusion of persons with disabilities within the inter-agency coordination mechanism. Ensuring non-discrimination requires that such guidelines be gender-sensitive, as and Gender Based Violence in Emergencies (co-hosted by the UNFPA Asia-Pacific Regional Office and Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade), highlighting as a key priority the engagement of Asia-Pacific GBV and SRH stakeholders in the IASC Disability Guidelines consultation process.
Building on these initial efforts in the region, the Women’s Refugee Commission, South Asia Disability Forum, UNFPA Asia-Pacific Regional Office and International Planned Parenthood Federations (IPPF), with support from the Australian Government, facilitated a consultation workshop with GBV and gender actors from the Asia region to inform the IASC Disability Guidelines development. Ms. Manique Gunaratne from The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon and Dr. Harischandra Yakandawela from Family Planning Association was involved in developing the guidelines.
The Family Planning Association together with the Disability Organisations’ Joint Front is involved in the role out process of the IASC Guidelines in Sri Lanka. Persons with disabilities were trained on IASC Guidelines in November 2018 at the Ocean Colombo Hotel.
Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:
1 Manique and Ema from the Women Refugee Commission.
2 Manique, Saroja and Anil.
3 Manique, Chammi and the group.
Member – Asia Pacific Women with Disability United