RI Statement of Support for People with Disabilities in the Middle East

March 28, 2011

New York,
28 March, 2011

Rehabilitation International (RI), a global disability network, expresses its deepest sympathy and concern for our members, colleagues and friends in the light of recent and current events in Tunisia, Yemen, Egypt, Bahrain, Libya and Syria. While we respect all political regimes chosen or accepted by citizens in these countries, we implore authorities to take extra effort to ensure protection of persons with disabilities against violence and other actions that may result in more casualties and disabilities. We similarly call on all governments, organizations and other stakeholders, to consider the situation of persons with disabilities and to ensure that measures are taken for their safety and security.

RI also calls on organizations and governments providing emergency relief and aid to not forget persons with disabilities, including those who have become disabled as a result of these events. We urge organizations to work with NGOs and Disabled Persons’ Organizations (DPOs) to educate staff on the appropriate assistive devices, services, support and training to address the immediate needs of persons with disabilities, and ensure that emergency relief, evacuation plans and services are accessible and inclusive of persons with disabilities.


Anne Hawker
Rehabilitation International