series event

Are humanitarian responses inclusive of people with disabilities?

There are almost 60 million forcibly displaced people worldwide, the highest level since World War II. Ensuring people with disabilities are included in humanitarian responses is a critical – but often neglected – priority. In times of conflict, not only are people with disabilities more likely to experience violence and abandonment, but survivors with disabilities often face significant difficulties in accessing basic services provided as part of humanitarian responses. Furthermore, there is an urgent need for greater provision mental health and rehabilitative services – which are rare in emergency settings - especially as many survivors of crises experience physical and psychological trauma that can lead to disability. This panel discussion will thus explore the impact of humanitarian crises on the lives of people with disabilities and how to foster more inclusive humanitarian responses.


Professor David Alexander - Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction, UCL

He carries out research in diverse aspects of disaster risk, impact and response. Amongst other projects, he is engaged on work with the Council of Europe on researching plans and methods to improve the quality of assistance to people with disabilities who are threatened by risks or affected by disaster.

Dr. Maria Kett Leonard Cheshire Disability & Inclusive Development Centre, UCL 

Dr. Maria has a particular interest in disability-related issues in situations of disasters and conflicts. She has undertaken policy-focused work on inclusive humanitarian responses, culminating in her role as Global Focal Point for Disability in the current revision of the Sphere Handbook on Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (2010).

Dr. Bayard Roberts - London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Dr. Bayard is the Director of ECOHOST- the Centre for Health and Social Change and the joint founder of the LSHTM Public Health in Humanitarian Crises Group. His research addresses the health determinants, policies and systems of countries in transition such as conflict-affected and fragile states. Mental health has been a central focus in his work, which has included studies on the influence of armed conflict and forced migration on mental health in South Sudan and northern Uganda.

This event wll be followed by a reception drink 

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