Urgent support required for Ukrainians who have a learning disability
In my role as Vice President of Inclusion Europe, I am continuing to speak with leaders of NGOs across the continent to discuss the human rights implications for people who have a learning disability over the past 48 hours. It is absolutely clear that the Russian invasion of Ukraine has put millions of Ukrainian citizens in danger, and there is grave concern for the welfare of tens of thousands of Ukrainians who have a learning disability.
In addition to those who live in their communities, more than 80,000 children and thousands of adults who have a learning disability live in institutions across Ukraine, and Inclusion Europe’s Ukrainian member organisation has very serious fears for their wellbeing at this time.
Led by our partners in Ukraine, Inclusion Europe members across the continent are joining together to call for:
- Secure supplies of daily necessities to people who have a learning disability, including medicines;
- Civil protection information in easy read and accessible formats to help people who have a learning disability understand the measures they need to take in dangerous situations;
- Monitoring of the situation in “care institutions” to ensure people are not abandoned or harmed;
- Specific support through humanitarian organisations for people who have a learning disability, whether living in the community or in institutions.
Today, in my capacity as Vice President of Inclusion Europe and in partnership with our colleagues at Learning Disability England and All Wales People First, I have written to the UK’s Foreign Secretary and the Scottish Government’s Minister for Culture, Europe and International Development to urge them to press for measures to protect Ukrainians who have a learning disability through all the humanitarian and diplomatic channels available to them.
We will continue to work with our colleagues in Inclusion Europe to offer whatever support we can to our partners in Ukraine to maintain the welfare and safety of people who have a learning disability across the country.
The thoughts, prayers and support of the entire European movement for inclusion is with the people of Ukraine at this time.
CEO, ENABLE Group
Vice President, Inclusion Europe