Poland’s UN initiative on the disabled

Yemeni disabled people participate in a rally against ongoing war in Yemen ahead of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD), outside the UN offices in Sana'a, Yemen, 02.12.2018. Photo: Yahya Arhab, EPA/PAP

Desperate situation of disabled persons in war-zones was the topic of UN Security Council meeting, organized by Poland.

Over one billion people with disabilities live across the globe. About 16 percent of them are being affected by war or civil conflicts. They are especially vulnerable to violence and abuse. Threats that they are facing and methods to help them out, were the topics of Monday,s UN Security Council meeting in New York, organized by Polish representatives.

“Survival in the war-zone is especially difficult for people who got disabled recently. They face an everyday battle for medical treatment and access to food, water, sanitation facilities. They are under the threat of starvation, abuse, murders and are often left behind” emphasized Polish ambassador to the UN, Joanna Wronecka.

If they manage to flee from war-torn regions, they often face discrimination and barriers that are making it very difficult for them to start a new life. In the opinion of Joanna Woronecka, so far these problems haven’t been addressed properly by the UN.

“Challenges that disabled persons [affected by war - ed.] are confronted with, have not been discussed by the Council yet. Not even a single official Security Council document has been published on the matter of disabled persons in war-zones” she said.

The Security Council meeting came together with The International Day of Persons with Disabilities. It was open to non-member states and NGO’s, whose representatives expressed gratitude for raising this subject at the UN forum.