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Spain: New guide for an inclusive approach to refugees, asylum seekers and stateless persons with disabilities

The Spanish Committee of Representatives of Persons with Disabilities (Cermi) has developed the first guide in Spain promoting an inclusive approach to disabled refugees, asylum seekers and stateless persons. It was conceived of to act as a tool to provide the best care possible to a group particularly at risk of violations of their most basic human rights.

Entitled 'I have human rights', the guide offers an orderly, dynamic and versatile selection of information and guidelines, as well as identification of resources available. It is designed for persons with disabilities in the international protection context: those who are refugees, asylum seekers or stateless, and also for those - administrative bodies, international organisations and civil society - who assist and accompany them.

The preparation of this guide - which has attempted a wide reading of all the international human rights treaties applicable to these situations - is due to the fact that more and more people with disabilities - or those who acquire disabilities as a result of their relocations - are forced to move from their countries of origin, and that they constitute an extremely fragile group from the perspective of guaranteeing their human rights.

The reality of disability is increasingly present in the forced displacements that are part of today's international life, and there is little knowledge on how to care for individuals to ensure that their disability does not represent an added punishment in terms of violation of their human rights. 

In the virtual seminar "Refugees with disabilities and freedom", organised by the pan-European entity ENIL, Jesús Martín, delegate of CERMI for Human Rights and the UN Convention on Disability declared that most recommendations made to Spain by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities have not been complied with by the State. He emphasised the lack of data on people with disabilities in a situation of refuge and asylum, or awaiting these statuses, as well as the lack of accessible and inclusive policies for them.

CERMI demanded that UNHCR establish clear protocols and guidelines on accessibility measures to be incorporated into asylum procedures and reception centres.

Find out more here.