Southern Africa Federation of the Disabled (SAFOD)

New Guidance Highlights Support for Persons with Disabilities in the Wake of Covid-19

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30 April, 2020


On 30 April 2020, the UN Human Rights Office launched the new Guidance highlighting support for persons with disabilities in the wake of the novel Coronavirus pandemic.

According to The UN News, the Guidance sets out key actions to counter what the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights called the “double risk” faced by persons with disabilities in the COVID-19 pandemic. It outlines steps governments and stakeholders can take during the pandemic.

The UN News reported that the listed steps range from discharging persons with disabilities from institutions, to increasing existing disability benefits, and removing barriers to COVID-19 treatment. Prioritizing testing and promoting preventive measures within institutions to reduce infection risk are other recommendations.

Additionally, the guidance spotlights promising practices already in place in some countries.

During the launch, The UN News quoted the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights People with disabilities, Michelle Bachelet, saying people with disabilities were in danger in their own homes, where access to day-to-day support and services may be limited due to lockdowns, and some may suffer greatly from being isolated or confined.

“Persons with disabilities face even greater threats in institutions, as care facilities have recorded high fatality rates from COVID-19 and horrific reports have emerged of neglect during the pandemic,” she said.

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