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Inclusion of Disadvantaged Groups in Humanitarian Action and Disaster Risk Reduction: From Policy to Practice
Humanitarian crises make many people vulnerable. Paradoxically, the most vulnerable people, such as the elderly, children, persons living with HIV/AIDS and other chronic illnesses, persons with disabilities, LGTBQ+ persons, and other disadvantaged groups, have the hardest time to make their voices heard and their needs addressed. For example, persons with disabilities rarely participate in humanitarian decision-making and often face multiple barriers that hamper access to crucial services. In Venezuela, shortages of basic supplies, including a lack of medicine, heavily affected people with diabetes. With the 2016 Humanitarian Inclusion Charter humanitarians have increased their efforts to make their assistance and protection, as well as their disaster risk management, more inclusive. Yet, implementation lags behind policy development. This panel invites researchers and practitioners to share approaches to and reflect on inclusive initiatives for older people, persons with disabilities, ethnic and sexual minorities and other disadvantaged groups at the global, national and local levels. How are these three levels linked? How can humanitarian organizations ensure the inclusion of disadvantaged groups ‘on the ground’? What barriers to implementation exist? How can global coordination platforms, for example, the Reference Group on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities and the cluster system, facilitate inclusion? What is the role of donors in inclusive humanitarian action? What roles do organizations of people with disabilities, the elderly or minorities play?