In Advocacy Hub
The European Union and EU Member States, as State Parties to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), have a responsibility to ensure that all their policies and programmes related to external action and international cooperation are inclusive of and accessible to persons with disabilities.

As the European Union (EU) defines its priorities and programmes funding for external action through the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI), the EU has an obligation to ensure that women and men, girls and boys with disabilities are not left behind during the current programming process.

As a member of the International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) we have been engaged in, and actively support, a joint ICCD-EDF (European Disability Forum) call on the EU to see that programming of the NDICI is disability-inclusive and compliant with the EU’s obligations under the CRPD.

We see the following as key for the inclusive programming of the NDICI.

  • Ensure accessible and meaningful participation of persons with disabilities and their representative organisations (DPOs / OPDs) at all stages in the design, implementation and monitoring of the NDICI, and at all levels (regional and country).
  • Refer explicitly to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and to persons with disabilities in all documentation related to the NDICI including key programming documents such as the geographic (country and regional) and the thematic multi-annual action plans (MAAPs), the multi-annual indicative programmes (MIPs) and subsequent action plans.
  • Ensure that the ongoing Team Europe global response to COVID-19, as well as all future Team Europe initiatives, and joint programming, implementation and vaccination plans, leave no one behind. Disability inclusion is critical to address all forms of inequality and to truly build back better Team Europe must follow a human rights-based approach which is disability-inclusive and takes into account the rights of the most excluded groups of persons with disabilities.
  • Ensure coherence between the NDICI programming (both geographic and thematic pillars) and the next European Disability Rights Strategy 2021-2030. Coherence is also needed between programming at the implementation of other key policies and frameworks which refer to the CRPD, including the EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy 2020-2024, the EU Gender Action Plan III 2021-2025, the ECHO Guidance Note on the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in EU-funded Humanitarian Aid Operations, and the future EU-Africa Strategy (non-exhaustive list).
  • Apply a twin-tack approach to disability-inclusion in development and international cooperation which consists of (a) mainstreaming the rights of persons with disabilities of all ages, and (b) initiatives targeting persons with disabilities.
  • Use an intersectional analysis to support the design and implementation of programmes, ensure the systematic collection of data disaggregated by at least gender, age and disability, and invest in support to EUDs and partner countries to disaggregate data.

View the full statement as a pdf here.

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