HCD condemns the catastrophic situation of persons with disabilities in the Gaza Strip

The Higher Council for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (HCD), on Tuesday, organised a function titled, “The Situation of Persons with Disabilities in Natural Disasters, Crises, and Armed Conflicts: Gaza as a Living Testimony”. The event coincides with the International Day of Persons with Disabilities and Human Rights Day.


His Royal Highness Prince Mired, Lord Chamberlain and President of HCD, attended the function, together with members of the diplomatic corps, and representatives of national, regional and international organisations, civil society organisations, and human rights activists.

In his opening remarks, HCD Secretary-General, Muhannad Alazzeh, denounced Israel’s actions which are a blatant violation of international humanitarian law, international human rights law and article 11 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which stipulates that “States Parties shall take, in accordance with their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law, all necessary measures to ensure the protection and safety of persons with disabilities in situations of risk, including situations of armed conflict”.

Alazzeh also highlighted the unprecedented catastrophic conditions in which persons with disabilities are living in the Gaza strip in light of the absence of essential services, and the fact that they are not on the priority list of organisations providing limited aid to Gaza.


UN Resident Coordinator in Jordan, Sheri Ritsema-Anderson, who attended the function, said in her remarks, “We need laser-like focus on the needs and rights of persons with disabilities – not only as beneficiaries, but as active contributors across social, economic and political life. This means ensuring that persons with disabilities are at every decision-making table, in line with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and across efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals — from poverty eradication, to health, education and climate action. It means heeding the call of the disability movement: ‘Nothing about us, without us.’


On his part, Acting Director of UNRWA Affairs in Jordan, Olaf Becker, highlighted that “the last two months have been an example of the harsh challenges on people’s lives, not only for persons with disabilities, but also for the health sector. With no hope, and with many living in fear, more than half of [Gaza’s] children are contemplating suicide”.


On her part, WHO Representative to Jordan, Dr Jamela Al Raiby, noted that the WHO, and on the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, renews its call for collective efforts to put an end to the acts of aggression and humanitarian crisis in Gaza. She also called for an immediate ceasefire, and the continuation of humanitarian aid at the largest extent possible, as well as a halt to the attacks on health care facilities, and other fundamental livelihood infrastructure, while exerting efforts to provide health services for all, especially persons with disabilities.


In her remarks during the event, CEO of Save The Children Jordan, Diala Khamra stressed that persons with disabilities are immobile, and are unable to flee to shelters, while some are living in ravished homes that are unsafe, in the absence of existing alternatives. The biggest challenge, she added, is the difficulty in accessing healthcare and humanitarian aid over the last two months of what has since become the worst humanitarian catastrophe the region has witnessed.                 


The function also included video and presentation segments on the situation of persons with disabilities in natural disasters, crises, and armed conflicts, as well as an honourary ceremony in recognition of the work of some of HCD’s staff members, and public figures and activists, and those working in the voluntary sector in the field of disability rights.




How do you rate the content of the page?