A coalition of six disability rights organisations has launched a major international monitoring initiative entitled “COVID-19 Disability Rights Monitor” to conduct rapid independent monitoring of state measures concerning persons with disabilities. The world is facing enormous challenges nowadays caused by COVID-19. To support the global understanding of consequences of these challenges on persons with disabilities, this Initiative seeks to gather information (i) on the experiences of persons with disabilities, and (ii) on how States are responding to states of emergency situations in relation to this specific population.
The first element of this global initiative is the launch of two surveys requesting official information from governments and requesting the testimonies of persons with disabilities and their representative organisations. The surveys aim to collect information about what states are doing to protect core rights of persons with disabilities including the rights to life, access to health and essential services.
Beyond this, the initiative seeks to highlight the particular issues faced by persons with disabilities in situations of heightened vulnerability, including those living in institutions and their own homes, children, older persons, those who are homeless and people in rural settings.
A new website has been created to host the surveys at www.covid-drm.org. It contains a dashboard that makes the data collected publicly available. The information collected identifies common issues facing persons with disabilities worldwide, providing valuable information to inform policy measures at national and global levels, and highlights promising practices which can strengthen the protection of disability rights during crises.