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The global population of people who have been forcibly displaced has reached a record 70.8 million in 2018. Among them, as many as 14 million displaced people have disabilities. Within this context, women, children, and youth with disabilities are often excluded from services addressing gender-based violence (GBV), programs for adolescents and youth, and information and education about sexual and reproductive health. These are the types of services and assistance that would build their skills and capacities and make them more resilient to protection risks such as violence, abuse and exploitation.

The disability program works to ensure the participation of displaced women, children, and youth with disabilities by:

  1. Identifying what works for displaced women, children, and youth with disabilities – We achieve this by conducting participatory action research projects with affected communities; providing technical support to operational partners; and piloting and evaluating strategies for disability inclusion.
  2. Strengthening the leadership of organizations of women with disabilities in humanitarian action at national, regional, and global levels. This has involved activities such as:
  1. Inform and influence resilience based approaches in humanitarian settings. As an example, the disability program:
  2. Improve accountability for the inclusion of women, children, and youth with disabilities. As a member of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Task Team on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action, we are working to:
    • support the development of the global guidelines, and to ensure commitments for the protection and empowerment of women and girls with disabilities. The WRC is also working to support our partners – organizations of women with disabilities from conflict-affected countries – to share their priorities in global humanitarian, development and human rights forums.

Disability Fact Sheet

The Women's Refugee Commission (WRC)'s Disability Program seeks to improve the lives and protect the rights of women, children, and youth with disabilities who are displaced by crisis and conflict. We research their needs, identify solutions, and advocate for changes to policies and programs that strengthen their resilience and drive positive change in humanitarian practice.

Download the Fact Sheet 

Photo Essays

“I Can Make a Difference”: Organizations of persons with disabilities engaging in child protection and GBV programs in Lebanon

Fadia and Mia Farah live some 30 minutes outside of Beirut, in a quiet area surrounded by beautiful gardens and trees. Mia, who has Downs Syndrome, is a strong advocate for the rights of persons with intellectual disabilities, with her mother, Fadia, acting as her support person. Fadia is the President of the Lebanese Self Advocacy Association, or LASA, through which Mia and Fadia advocate for the rights of people with intellectual disabilities, not only in Lebanon but all over the world. Read their story in this photo essay.

“If We Can Collaborate, We Can Prevent Violence”: Strengthening Disability Inclusion in Child Protection and GBV Programs in Lebanon

Lina, Roudayna, and Nada’s personal journeys have led them to take on the fight for the rights of persons with disabilities. With one million refugees in Lebanon, their organizations have been engaging with refugees with disabilities who face added marginalization and risk of violence. Read their story in this photo essay.