UNHCR-NGOs on Enhancing Inclusion and Protection of Forcibly Displaced Persons with Disabilities


The World Health Organization estimates that around 15 per cent of the world’s population has a disability. Several million are thought to be displaced but often remain invisible within host or transition communities. Persons with disabilities face additional barriers during the journey of displacement, and to access refugee status and asylum processes. They are at higher risk of violence and abuse and find accessing education, social protection, and self-reliance even more challenging.

In December 2020, the International Disability Alliance (IDA) and the UNHCR signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to facilitate and frame their collaboration, building on the unique status of UNHCR as the main coordinator of global refugee response, and IDA's unique representation of persons with disabilities and their organisations.

This event is an opportunity for participants to enhance their understanding on challenges faced by people with disabilities in refugee status determination and asylum processes based on the recently published paper in this regard. The event will also discuss protection requirements of persons with disabilities, in particular women and children with disabilities, and ways to address them

Agenda and Speakers

  1. Introduction, overview of accessibility features, overview of the agenda  (Elham Youssefian, IDA)
  2. Understanding disability and accessibility (moderated by Ricardo Pla Cordero, presentation by Juan Gobenas, DRG Fellow from Argentina)
    • Polls for the audience
    • Presentation by Juan Gobenas
    • Polls for the audience
  3. Disability and displacement, story of a journey (moderated by Elham Youssefian, presentation by Mohamed Camara and Armelle Nogning)
  4. 'Access to refugee status determination and asylum processes for persons with disabilities', intervention by Elham Youssefian
  5. Analysis of disability inclusion in UNHCR 2022 results and 2023 planning (presentation by Ricardo Pla Cordero, Protection Officer – Ageing and Disability, UNHCR)
    • Coordination: Disability inclusion in Refugee Response Plans in Refugee Coordination response and Humanitarian Response Plans in Cluster-led responses.
    • Implementation: Reflecting a twin-track approach in partnership agreements; disaggregation of data by sex, age and disability.
  6. 'Good practices on participation of refugees with disabilities', intervention by Julius Ntobuah 
  7. Q&A moderated by Ricardo Pla Cordero


Date: 4 April 2023 (Tuesday)

Time: 14:00 to 15:30 (Central European time) / 19:00 to 20:30 (Bangkok time)


Deadline for registration: 31 March 2023 (Friday) by 22:00 Bangkok time