Since 20 April 2020, through a global survey, the COVID-19 Disability Rights Monitor (DRM) has been gathering data to conduct rapid independent monitoring of state measures concerning persons with disabilities in the context of the pandemic.
Today, the initiative reaches a new milestone with the launch of the COVID-19 DRM Dashboard that allows the public to explore the survey’s preliminary results. The Dashboard highlights the voices of persons with disabilities and provides a vivid picture of the extent to which countries have responded to the specific impacts of the virus on persons with disabilities.
With over 1,600 responses already received from more than 120 countries worldwide, the information shows a failure by many States to adopt disability-inclusive responses to the pandemic and guarantee protections for fundamental rights to life, health, safety, information and support as enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
“I am a disabled person living alone. I have to take care of myself, I do this with the help of stores that allow ordering. I do not receive any financial or other support. They contacted me on the phone, they could help me get food and / or medicine once a week if I wanted to. In addition, no assistance was provided by the government or any other institution. I live in a condominium, I would use the stair railings for transportation, but I don’t dare because I don’t know if anyone would disinfect them,” person with disabilities, Hungary
“I am concerned about people in institutions, many of them are probably abandoned, due to the lack of interest in their health and well-being, regardless of the pandemic. These people do not interest the population, nor the institutions,” - family member of person with disabilities, Mexico
The survey is currently available in 22 languages and will remain open until 31 July 2020.
The coalition coordinating the initiative are calling on governments and national monitoring bodies to show their commitment to persons with disabilities by completing the survey and explaining what measures they have been taking to mitigate the worst impacts.
The DRM Dashboard features an interactive map and country pages, provides aggregated data on responses to key thematic questions, and provides weekly briefings on the crucial issues shared by respondents. Emerging themes include intense feelings of isolation, concerns over discriminatory barriers to accessing healthcare services, the lack of accessible information and increasing evidence of the enhanced dangers in residential facilities, institutions and care homes.
“The government's focus is in urban areas. People in rural and remote areas in the highlands of Lesotho have been generally neglected. There are soldiers and police to force them to stay in their homes. This applies to persons with disabilities,” - Human Rights Organisation, Lesotho
“There has been no mention of people with disabilities living in residential facilities at all,” - Organisation of Persons with Disabilities, South Africa
“No personal protective equipment for homecare workers, little controls or protocols at retirement or group homes,” - family member of a person with disabilities, United States of America
The initiative also aims to collect data from governments and independent monitoring bodies and to increase public awareness of the need for urgent actions to protect human rights.
Coordinated by a coalition of seven leading organisations promoting the human rights of persons with disabilities, the initiative has been endorsed by Catalina Devandas Aguilar, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Dainius Pūras, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health, and Ikponwosa Ero, UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism. It has also been welcomed by the Director-General of the World Health Organization, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus.
- Visit the COVID-19 DRM Dashboard on www.covid-drm.org
- Read respondents’ testimonies on the COVID-19 DRM Dashboard Voices page.
Members of the Coalition
The Validity Foundation – Mental Disability Advocacy Centre is an international non-governmental human rights organisation which uses legal strategies to promote, protect and defend the human rights of persons with intellectual disabilities and persons with psychosocial disabilities in Europe and Africa. Validity holds special consultative status with ECOSOC and participatory status at the Council of Europe. Website: www.validity.ngo.
The European Network on Independent Living (ENIL) is an international network of disabled people, with members throughout Europe. ENIL is a forum for all disabled people, Independent Living organizations and their non-disabled allies on the issues of Independent Living. ENIL represents the disability movement for human rights and social inclusion based on solidarity, peer support, deinstitutionalization, democracy, self-representation, cross disability and self-determination. Website: www.enil.eu.
The International Disability Alliance (IDA) is an Alliance of 14 global and regional organisations of persons with disabilities. Together, the IDA Members promote the rights of persons with disabilities across the United Nations' efforts to advance human rights and sustainable development. IDA supports organisations of persons with disabilities to hold their governments to account and advocate for change locally, nationally and internationally. Website: www.internationaldisabilityalliance.org.
Disability Rights International (DRI) is a human rights advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and full community inclusion of children and adults with disabilities worldwide. DRI documents human rights violations, educates and engages the public through media campaigns, trains and supports activists working to bring change, and conducts strategic litigation to enforce the rights of people with disabilities. DRI’s Worldwide Campaign to End the Institutionalization of Children is dedicated to promoting the recognition and enforcement of the right of all children to live and grow up with a family and not in any form of institution, orphanage, or group home. DRI is an organization led by people with disabilities and their families. Website: www.driadvocacy.org.
The Disability Rights Unit at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, is committed to finding evidence-based ways of addressing the rights of persons with disabilities on the African continent. This includes conducting research on international disability rights standards and instruments, building capacity among governments, national human rights institutions, academia, civil society and communities, and engaging with judicial, quasi-judicial and non-judicial redress mechanisms. Website: https://www.chr.up.ac.za/units/disability-rights-unit.
The International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) is a global consortium of 31 disability and development non-governmental organisations (NGOs), mainstream development NGOs and representative organisations of persons with disabilities (DPOs) supporting inclusive international development and humanitarian action with a special focus on the full and effective enjoyment of human rights by all people with disabilities in more than 150 countries around the world. Website: www.iddcconsortium.net.
The Disability Rights Fund (DRF), and its sister organization, the Disability Rights Advocacy Fund (DRAF), are pooled funds and participatory grantmakers, bringing together global disability rights activists and donors to resource organizations of persons with disabilities across Africa, Asia, Pacific and Caribbean to advocate for advancement of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) at national and local levels. With more than 50% of grants supporting organizations of persons with disabilities marginalized within the disability movement, DRF supports persons with disabilities around the world to build diverse movements, ensure inclusive development agendas, and achieve equal rights and opportunity for all. DRAF supports work to advance legal frameworks to realize rights. Websites: https://disabilityrightsfund.org and https://drafund.org.