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U.S. Statement on the Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Persons with Albinism
March 4, 2016

Clustered ID with the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Independent Expert on Persons with Albinism

Human Rights Council, 31st Session

United States Delegation, delivered by Keith Harper

Thank you, Mr. Vice President. We would like to thank both the special rapporteur and the independent expert for their reports. The United States welcomes the Special Rapporteur’s report and agrees with the conclusion: That participation, accountability, non-discrimination, and empowerment are fundamental principles of a human rights-based approach to disability.

Data collection on disabled persons in humanitarian emergencies remains an ongoing challenge. Member states and other stakeholders should work together to strengthen collection, management, disaggregation, and analysis of information on persons with disabilities and persons with albinism. This will foster inclusion and aid addressing discrimination on the basis of disability, including multiple and intersectional forms of discrimination.

In addition, humanitarian actors should prioritize identification of persons with disabilities and albinism during early stages of conflict or disaster response as well as during the recovery phase in order to ensure equitable access to services. Persons with disabilities should also be included in all phases of program design, including emergency preparedness, assistance delivery, and recovery.

We strongly urge Member States, the UN system, humanitarian agencies, and other relevant stakeholders to mainstream inclusion of persons with disabilities and albinism into their existing humanitarian response efforts.

We’d like to end by asking the Special Rapporteur for her recommendations on best methods and practices for building capacity of all the relevant stakeholders to integrate the needs of persons with disabilities in their humanitarian work. Thank you.

On a separate matter, Mr. Vice President, the US strongly condemns the murder of Honduran Indigenous Human Rights Defender Berta Caceres and calls for an immediate and complete investigation.