Italy, other 137 Member States, call for disability-inclusive response to COVID-19

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NEW YORK, MAY 19 – Italy joined 137 other UN countries endorsing a statement on a disability inclusive response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”Together we make a powerful call to ensure that persons with disabilities are not left behind & discriminated against”, the Italian Permanent Mission to the United Nations announced on Twitter.

“Persons with disabilities have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and many of them are at higher risk of contracting the virus and developing severe complications or increased mortality for many reasons, including in some cases, pre-existing health conditions, or living in institutional settings”, the Member States remarked welcoming the release of the Secretary-General’s Antonio Guterres’ Policy Brief on “A Disability-Inclusive Response to COVID-19” as well as other UN relevant guidance by the WHO or OHCHR.

Persons with disabilities have experienced greater attitudinal, environmental and institutional barriers and discrimination, exclusion from accessing health-care services and information, as well as faced serious disruption to their employment, education, and access to social protection and other support services, reads the statement. These may be exacerbated by multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination faced by women, children and older persons with disabilities and persons with disabilities in situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies.

On the other hand, said the member states, “a disability-inclusive COVID-19 response and recovery will better serve everyone and prevent the gains made in the inclusion and rights of persons with disabilities from being lost. It will provide persons with disabilities with accessible and agile systems capable of responding to the pandemic. As every crisis can also become an opportunity, let us pave the way for a better future for all, where no one is left behind”.

To read the full statement, click here. (@OnuItalia)