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Fact Sheet on Disability Inclusive Development

Fact sheet «Disability inclusiveness of Swiss development and humanitarian aid» by Polly Meeks, independent researcher and consultant.

Executive Summary Fact Sheet

Switzerland is at an early stage in its journey towards aligning its development cooperation and humanitarian action with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Its current policies, capacities and processes do not place a strong emphasis on disability, and engagement with organisations of persons with disabilities is very limited. Switzerland’s recent guidance on the human rights-based approach to development and on leaving no-one behind could lay some promising foundations to build a more ambitious approach to disability. But if Switzerland is to make the most of these foundations, and ensure its international cooperation does not leave or push persons with disabilities behind, it must recognise CRPD compliance as a fundamental pre-requisite across all areas of its strategy, systems and interventions. 

Meanwhile, analysis by civil society specialists points to a range of challenges in the structures and processes for implementing the CRPD within Switzerland’s borders. Available evidence indicates these challenges are associated with substantially unequal outcomes for Swiss persons with disabilities.

Stronger cross-government coordination mechanisms could help Switzerland cross-fertilise lessons – both positive or negative – from its experiences implementing the CRPD domestically and in its international cooperation.

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