European Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction: A step in the right direction

31 March 2017

Outcome document of the 2017 European Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction includes persons with disabilities

EDF Executive Committee member, Yannis Yallouros, at the 2017 European Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction

This week the 2017 European Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction took place in Istanbul.  Yannis Yallouros, member of EDF Executive Committee, took part in the Forum, and in the drafting committee for the outcome document. The outcome document pays specific attention to persons with disabilities, calling on authorities ‘to include people with disabilities, refugees, migrants, asylum seekers and other vulnerable groups of people in national and local strategies for disaster risk reduction through a participatory and human rights-based approach’.

This European Forum took place in advance of the Global Forum which will happen in May in Cancun, Mexico.  

In March 2015, the International Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) was adopted at Sendai, and for the first time the global DRR platform was inclusive of and accessible to persons with disabilities.

The new Sendai Framework for DRR 2015-2030 contains many references to disability inclusion, which is a substantial improvement compared to the preceding framework. This includes monitoring and collecting data with a specific reference to disaggregated data on disability and other vulnerable groups. They will also provide a comprehensive platform from which DRR work in the coming years will be able to increase resilience to natural events, benefiting not only persons with disabilities, but society as a whole.

The International Disability Alliance (IDA), with support from CBM International played a strong role in bringing together a disability caucus to advocate at the national and regional level in the run-up to Sendai, and ensured a delegation of disability advocates in Sendai itself.  EDF also actively participated at the Sendai meetings, with our Board member Giampiero Griffo present.

The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction UNISDR is working to include the voice of persons with disabilities through their representative organisations in the European and Global follow-up. We thank UNISDR and the Turkish government organisers, AFAD (the Turkish disaster management authority) for the measures taken to ensure accessibility in the 2017 European Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction Open Forum this week. EDF will continue this cooperation with UNISDR in advance of the upcoming Global Forum.

Follow updates on Twitter using the hashtags: #EFDRR #DRR #MEXICOGP2017 #switch2sendai

Watch Yannis Yallouros’ addressing the European Forum here

Find the outcome documents of the 2017 European Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction here

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