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Parallel Programme for Victim Assistance Experts

TUESDAY 21 JUNE

OPENING OF THE VICTIM ASSISTANCE PARALLEL PROGRAMME

  • Co-Chairs of the Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration (Australia and Uganda)

FOCUS ON ACCESSIBILITY

Accessibility is about enabling landmine and other ERW survivors to live independently and participate fully in all aspects of life by ensuring equal access to the physical environment, services, communications and information, and identifying and eliminating obstacles and barriers to accessibility.

In the Cartagena Action Plan, the States Parties committed to “increase availability of and accessibility to appropriate services for female and male mine victims, by removing physical, social, cultural, economic, political and other barriers, including by expanding quality services in rural and remote areas and paying particular attention to vulnerable groups” (Action #31). In addition, in the Cartagena Action Plan, the States Parties note the importance of disseminating and applying inter alia “accessibility guidelines (…) to enhance victim assistance efforts” (Action #32). The main purpose of the June 2011 parallel programme will be focus on these commitments.

  • Understanding the breadth and depth of “accessibility”
    Sheree Bailey (ISU)
  • Survivors’ perspectives on accessibility
    Firoz Alizada (ICBL-CMC), Song Kosal (ICBL-CMC Cambodia), Gassama Mamady (ICBL-CMC Senegal), and Bekele Gonfa (ICBL-CMC Ethiopia)
  • Access to physical rehabilitation services
    Claude Tardif (ICRC)
  • National accessibility standards
    Herbet Baryayebwa (Uganda)
  • Exchange of experiences on the application of the Cartagena Action Plan as concerns accessibility

DOWNLOAD STATEMENTS

The document entitled “Assisting the Victims: Recommendations on Implementing the Cartagena Action Plan 2010-2014” provides a set of suggested actions as concerns disabilities. Experts participating in the parallel programme may wish to come prepared to discuss progress made and challenges encountered in applying these suggestions in their national context:

  • Assess the physical accessibility of the physical environment (public places, hospitals, clinics, schools, airports, train stations, universities, libraries, ministries, roads, sidewalks, religious buildings, etc.)
  • Develop and implement a programme, based on international standards to adapt inaccessible construction to become fully accessible.
  • Create, disseminate and maintain a directory of all relevant services in or near affected areas in formats that are accessible for different types of disabilities and education levels.
  • Develop and/or implement a programme to ensure that victims know their rights and available services.
  • Develop and/or implement a programme to ensure that mine victims and other persons with disabilities have access to affordable transportation to available services and/or accommodation while accessing services if required.
  • Develop and/or activate a referral network between service users and service providers to ensure that appropriate services are available and accessible to all on an equal basis.
  • Develop and implement a plan to decentralise the provision of services to facilitate access to service providers.
  • Include accessibility in all laws and policies related to infrastructure and information.

DOWNLOAD STATEMENTS

ACCESSIBILITY TO MICRO-FINANCING

Access to economic opportunities has been highlighted as a major challenge for persons with disabilities including landmine survivors. Traditionally, the poor and vulnerable have not been a focus for banks: loan amounts required by the poor are usually small, as are their savings. Risks involved are considered too high, since many cannot provide traditional collateral such as assets, guarantors or a proven business record. Furthermore, reaching the poor may not be cost-effective for traditional banks, since the poor and vulnerable require the same (or more) staff time for follow-up. Those in rural areas, in particular, require more time and effort to be reached.

  • Shaza N. Ahmed, Victim Assistance Specialist, United Nations Mine Action Coordination Centre, Kinshasa
  • Sadiq Mohibi, Disability Advisor, UN Afghanistan Disability Support Programme
  • Rakibul Islam Azim, Consultant, Microfinance Unit, Bank of Khartoum
  • Ahmed El Badwi, Surgeon and Victim Assistance Officer, National Mine Action Centre Sudan

DOWNLOAD STATEMENTS

FOLLOW UP ON COMMUNITY BASED REHABILITATION

At the 10MSP Parallel Programme, experts focused intensively on the matter of community based rehabilitation, particularly in the context of the recently released CBR Guidelines. At the June 2011 parallel programme, experts will have an opportunity to provide feedback on how they may have applied or may be applying what they gained through their participation at the 10MSP.

WEDNESDAY 22 JUNE

FOCUS ON ACCESSIBILITY (CONTINUED)

  • Visit to the “Rollodrome”

Note: The Rollodrome is a temporary structure, which will be set-up outside the WMO Building, which serves as a hands-on learning tool regarding what architectural barriers that might be encountered by a person with a physical handicap or sensory deficit.

LAUNCH OF THE PUBLICATION: ASSISTING LANDMINE AND OTHER ERW SURVIVORS IN THE CONTEXT OF DISARMAMENT, DISABILITY AND DEVELOPMENT

  • Hosted by the Permanent Mission of Australia, Restaurant level, WMO Building

A decade of deliberations on the problems caused by conventional weapons has resulted in various international legal instruments. Based on the precedents established through more than a decade of efforts to implement the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, there is consistency amongst these instruments. Different legal instruments, but with a uniform approach as concerns assisting victims and survivors of landmines and other explosive remnants of war, present certain opportunities. These opportunities concern ensuring coherence, closer cooperation and efficiency, ultimately with a view to achieving the greatest impact on the ground in affected communities. Taking advantage of these opportunities means enhancing the understanding of a wide range of actors on assisting survivors in the context of disarmament, disability and development. The purpose of this publication is to assist in meeting this need.

  • Parallel Programme for Victim Assistance Experts | List of Participants PDF 509KB