Disability Rights during the Pandemic: A Global Report on Findings of the COVID-19 Disability Rights Monitor

This report has one central purpose: To raise the alarm globally as to the catastrophic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on persons with disabilities worldwide and to catalyse urgent action in the weeks and months to come. The report is organised around four themes which emerged during the process of analysing responses received to the survey. These themes are: Inadequate measures to protect persons with disabilities in institutions; Significant and fatal breakdown of community supports; Disproportionate impact on underrepresented groups of persons with disabilities; Denial of access to healthcare. The Coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating impact on the rights of persons with disabilities. Recovery efforts will only be effective where they are genuinely inclusive and grounded in human rights. The testimonies collected throughout this study show just how precarious the situation is and that far greater efforts are needed to mitigate the disproportionate impacts of this emergency, including upon those who have traditionally been marginalised on multiple grounds. While there are many concerns, the report also highlights some promising practices that include persons with disabilities and/or their representative organisations in inclusive COVID-19 responses to the crisis from around the world. In some cases, these were organised and led by organisations of persons with disabilities to respond to clear gaps in state responses. They show that, through working with persons with disabilities, some of the most serious impacts of the pandemic can be mitigated. We urge decision-makers to support such important, community-level initiatives.