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Core Commitments

for Children

are the core UNICEF policy and framework for humanitarian action


Strategic Result

Children and adolescents with disabilities and their caregivers have inclusive and safe access to

humanitarian services and programmes



  • Identification of risks and barriers faced by children with disabilities is included in needs assessments and analysis, and incorporated in humanitarian programme planning and monitoring

See 2.3.1 Needs assessments, planning, monitoring and evaluation

1: Inclusive needs assessments, planning and monitoring


The needs of children with disabilities[90] and their caregivers are identified and reflected in planning and monitoring

  • Physical accessibility for children with disabilities is included in planning and design of humanitarian services and facilities

  • Accessibility of communication and information for children with disabilities is incorporated in planning and design of humanitarian programmes

2: Inclusive and safe access to information and services


Children with disabilities and their caregivers have safe access to humanitarian programmes

  • Community-based mechanisms/platforms exist for the systematic engagement of children with disabilities

See 2.2.7 Community engagement for behaviour and social change

3: Participation


Children with disabilities participate in the design of programmes and in the decisions that affect their lives

Key Considerations


  • Advocate for implementation of the-IASC Guidelines on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action.

  • Promote understanding that the final cost of accessibility is significantly less if considered at the planning and design stage (rather than retrofitting existing structures). 

  • Advocate for the allocation of adequate resources in humanitarian response plans that ensure inclusive and accessible access to services for children and persons with disabilities.

Coordination and Partnerships 

  • Partner with organizations of persons with disabilities and organizations with expertise on disability issues to improve humanitarian preparedness and response. These organizations should be identified and mapped as a preparedness measure.

  • Build the capacity of UNICEF personnel and partners on planning and implementing programmes and services that are inclusive and accessible for children and persons with disabilities.

  • All partnership agreements should include the required additional resources for an adequate consideration of the rights and needs of children and persons with disabilities and should be based on needs assessment and planning disaggregating data by sex, age and disability.

  • Support the establishment of a gender-balanced working group on disabilities within the coordination mechanisms at country level.

Quality Programming and Standards

  • Collaborate with all sectors to design and adapt humanitarian programmes that are inclusive and accessible for all children with disabilities. Engage with Education, Child protection and WASH sectors to identify and respond to specific protection and safety issues affecting both girls and boys with disabilities.

  • In planning a humanitarian response, where secondary data on population with disabilities is unavailable or unreliable, use the WHO/World Bank estimate that 15% of the world’s population has a disability.[91]

  • For data disaggregation, use the Washington Group Short Set of Questions on Disability and the UNICEF-Washington Group Child Functioning Module.

  • Implement targeted interventions to directly address the disability-related needs of children whenever possible.

  • Plan and allocate resources to promote the access to assistive technology for children with disabilities.

  • Work with GBV actors and coordination mechanisms to promote understanding that adolescent girls with disabilities face heightened risks, to reduce these GBV risks, and ensure provision of care for survivors of GBV. If there are no GBV actors available, train staff on the GBV Pocket Guide.

  • Ensure that children and adults with disabilities and their caregivers are engaged in the design and implementation of programmes, as well as in the selection of sites for service delivery.

  • Ensure that children and adults with disabilities and their caregivers participate in decisions that affect their lives and have access to safe and confidential complaints mechanisms. Using safe and confidential feedback and reporting mechanisms based on their preferred methods of communication, systematically use their views to review, inform and correct interventions.

Linking Humanitarian and Development

  • Ensure that multi-hazard risk assessments of households, communities and service delivery system, include a child-sensitive analysis of disability inclusion and accessibility.

  • Support national and local systems in consolidating and strengthening the various services established for children and persons with disabilities during the humanitarian response.


[90] The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities states that “persons with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.”

[91] World Report on Disability, WHO, 2011.

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