Ukrainians

Used as human shields, starved or deprived of medicines, tortured, abducted, disappeared. These are the potential crimes that have been committed against people with disabilities since Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, according to a new 18-month investigation by The Independent.

That doesn’t even cover what those close to the frontline face with no way of getting to shelter or accessing food and water, under some of the most ferocious bombardments of our time.

As Maksym – a Ukrainian man with a disability who was disappeared into Russia early on in the war – told me, those with disabilities are the last to be remembered and the first to be left behind.

Ukrainians
Ukrainians

This is not just true of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, this is true across all conflicts in the world. People with disabilities are disproportionately impacted by violence and similarly disproportionately ignored.

We must and can do more to protect those who are the most vulnerable. There should be a paradigm shift now in actions and how we use international law – and maybe even the wording of international law.

Although technically covered by the 4th Geneva Convention on civilian protection in war, experts say adequate protection of persons with disabilities in conflict has been woefully neglected throughout the world. Take the draft articles for a treaty on crimes against humanity which the United Nations is deliberating right now. It fails to even mention people with disabilities who, as the war in the Ukraine shows, are clearly repeatedly victimised. This is despite the darkest of historical precedents, such as the Nazi’s T4 project to kill those deemed incurably ill, physically or mentally disabled.

In many ways the problems in Ukraine – like many places across the world – start with a lack of data.

The official number of people registered with disabilities in Ukraine is 2.7 million but the United Nations estimates the true number to be more than double that.

Tens of thousands are in institutions across the country where conditions have been described by United Nations experts “appalling”. The epidemic of boarding houses, orphanages and residential homes is a devastating holdover from the Soviet Union where no support was given to families. Instead, they were encouraged to institutionalise their children with intellectual, physical and psychosocial disabilities.

Many have lived their entire lives in these institutions often with little contact with their families, as one advisor to the Ukrainian ministry of health told me “effectively social orphans”.

The fighting has left many near the frontlines along and with no help (REUTERS)

Disability rights activists – both in Ukraine and abroad – say there are no reliable statistics of exactly how many people are in those facilities or how many facilities there are.

This means when people with disabilities go missing, many of them can’t even be counted let alone found, Maksym told me.

They are also easily targeted by Russians, according to Dr Gerrad Quinn, the former UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of those with disabilities, as they are corralled into one space and so easily forcibly moved en masse.

Before war broke out, Ukraine was in the middle of unfurling a slew of reforms to create a “barrier free” accessible country that didn’t rely on these facilities. But that was halted by the conflict. It may remain on hold.

It meant by the time Russian tanks rolled into Ukrainian land, Ukrainian rights groups – like Fight For Right – said there was also a woeful lack of evacuation plans for the many thousands of people in these facilities were in a uniquely vulnerable position. They ended up being engulfed by front lines and then occupation.

This leaves them especially vulnerable to the Russia authorities who have publicly boasted about clearing out entire institutions and taking them to Crimea or Russia as “emergency evacuations”. The Independent has spoken to families still trying to find their loved ones.

Maksym – who was in a Kherson institution for people aged between 19 and 90 years old – found himself among 180 deported against his will to Russia in October 2022. He was able to get to safety because he had access to a mobile phone and enlisted the help of a Ukrainian NGO, Help to Leave, to evacuate him from Russia. He said he feared most for the elderly who may not have family looking for them or the means to get to safety themselves.

A lack of data means this apparent concerted effort by Russia to move people with disabilities – including children – into occupied territory or Russia, has largely passed the world undocumented and unnoticed. The details of many of these evacuations show that people like Maksym were taken by force, lied to or coerced and often kept incommunicado – leaving families back in Ukraine frantically searching.

Russia’s children’s commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova posted a picture to Telegram in October 2022 of her visit to Ukrainian toddlers in occupied Crimea, who had been in Kherson (Telegram / Maria Lvova-Belova )

Within this we have also tracked a worrying trend of people with disabilities, including children and the elderly, being pressured into accepting a Russian passport often in exchange for medical support. This is a trend Ukrainians think is part of trying to force a demographic change in occupied parts of the country through “Russification”, a wider strategy of annexation.

But all these issues are not specific to this conflict.

Armed conflict is ableist, just as it is sexed and gendered, to quote Janet E. Lord, a human rights lawyer and former advisor to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

And we need to fully recognise that.

The UN took a good step in 2019 introducing a landmark resolution at the Security Council which for the first time expressed that all parties to armed conflict must “take measures, in accordance with applicable international law obligations to protect civilians, including those with disabilities”.

But we need to do more. There is, for example, a gap in war crimes evidence gathering and prosecutions specifically focused on individuals with disabilities.

In Ukraine there has been a huge national and international effort to document the forcible transfer and deportation of children – which has resulted in an International Criminal Court warrant against Putin and his children’s commissioner. The Ukrainian authorities tell me they know of at least 19,500 children who have been removed by Russia.

But no one can tell me how many of these children have disabilities or how many were specifically taken from institutions for people with disabilities. And there are no such efforts – that I can find – to specifically document how many adults with disabilities have been taken, despite their obvious vulnerabilities.

This will only become more important as we have a new generation of people with life-alternating injuries and impairments – unofficial estimates say there could be well over 20,000 new amputees in the country from this war.

Ukraine has vowed to make important changes, including not rebuilding institutions that have been destroyed and to reconstruct cities to make them accessible.

We need to help the Ukrainians authorities do this and to investigate crimes committed against people with disabilities. We need to fundamentally change our attitude and actions across the world.

Feature: We were told we were going on a trip to the seaside – but we were kidnapped by Russia



Source link

About Author
admin
View All Articles
Check latest article from this author !
1. World Bank Pledges Continued Support For Nigeria’s Water Sector
1. Feel Like an Explorer in Gonarezhou National Park
1. Ecuador spat: Trotsky to the shah, Mexico’s long history as home to exiles | Politics News
US: Troops to leave Chad, it’s second withdrawal from an African country
1. Police wife: Man begs I-G to assist in locating missing police wife
Egyptian delegation visits Israel for talks on Gaza hostages
1.’We will so shed blood’: Armenians vow to fight land transfer to Azerbaijan | The Guardian Nigeria News
Sahndra Fon Dufe: Experiencing A Big Confluence of Brilliance – My ADIS24 Experience (II)
1. Katie Price is facing threat of arrest for dodging High Court hearing where she was due to give evidence after being declared bankrupt for a second time
Photos show aftermath of Niger prison collapse that allowed 119 inmates to escape following rainstorm
1. In Beijing, Blinken and Xi stress need for continued U.S.-China dialogue to avoid “any miscommunications”
1. Indian election resumes as bad heatwave hits voters — World — The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News
1. Ryan Garcia’s porn star fiancee Savannah Bond takes swipe at KSI and Logan Paul with savage tweet
1. UK: How abusive Nigerian man strangled and beat his wife to death with son’s skateboard months after arriving in the UK
1. Saudi Arabia could have its first Miss Universe contestant this year after opening first alcohol store
1.Reps Call For Calm Over Alleged Discrimination
1. May Day: Imperative of treating workers right | The Guardian Nigeria News
1.Joe Lieberman’s former chief of staff heaps on posthumous praise
Girl, 12, is kidnapped on her way to a wedding before being raped and brutally murdered
1.Resignation Wave Hits Imo PDP As Party Chair, More Members Quit
1.manifesto: Those asking why I didn’t build schools in Anambra didn’t read my manifesto
1.Jewish Dems’:Jamaal Bowman’s primary challenger wins Big Jewish Dems’ endorsement
1.The Guardian: Tunde Onakoya Returns Home To Heroes Welcome — Guardian Life — The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News
1.Analyst Singles Out VeChain And XRP For Parabolic Surge, Here Are The Targets
Software Engineer sentenced to life in prison for raping neighbour’s 13-year-old daughter in Lagos
1.Israel-Hamas hostage deal: Freeing captives between devastating Gaza
1.FCT Court Voids Detention Order On Medical Director
6 PAIN-FREE TRAVEL TIPS: How to Minimize Back and Neck Pain While Traveling
1.Understanding the Reality of Bobrisky’s Situation in Prison
1.The Benefits and Drawbacks of Urinating in the Shower
Stephanie Oluebube Offordile Wins Teen Queen Nigeria 2024: A Triumph of Grace and Talent
1.Regina Askia Opens Up About Rare Tracheal Mass Scare: A Story of Courage and Faith
1.Safe Boat Trips: Importance of Water Safety: Essential Tips for Safe Boat Trips
1.US House to Vote on Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan Aid Package: What You Need to Know
1.The Compassionate Act of Billionaire Prophet Jeremiah Fufeyin: A Gesture of Hope and Generosity
1.The Ondo APC Primary Controversy: Aspirants’ Dissatisfaction with Committee’s Chairman
1.Semi Finals: Glasgow ScotRail passengers warned of crazy busy weekend ahead of Scottish Cup Semi Finals
1. Barcelona v Chelsea: Women’s Champions League semi-final, first leg – live | Women’s Champions League
1.FA Cup replays backlash, Nagelsmann extends Germany deal: football news – as it happened | Soccer
1.AWAY DAY GUIDE | Crewe Alexandra – News
1.Women’s Champions League semi-finals: Who can beat Barca? Triumphant farewell for Hayes?
London Marathon 2024 runners predicted to raise Big record amount for charities
1.Long Sutton mother running London Marathon in aid of RNIB to raise funds and awareness for her son, 19, now registered blind
1. Full List of great Disruption To Know
1.Taylor Swift’s ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ vinyl includes a Stevie Nicks poem: Read here
1.James Lee Byars and Seung-taek Lee’s Art Convenes in Venice
1. Lloyd Martin aims for the record books at the London Marathon
1.Taylor Swift: ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ is Out Today. What to Know About Taylor Swift’s Double Album Shocker
Great Cagliari vs. Juventus 2024 live stream: Team news and how to watch the Serie A online
Brighton 1-2 Great Everton: Own goal decisive as Toffees claim narrow win
1.Man Sets Himself on Fire Near Courthouse Where Trump Is on Trial
1.Serie A line-ups: Great Cagliari vs. Juventus
1.McCaughey: Ulster can’t copy Leinster in bid for success – McCaughey
1.Does Toby Carvery’s roast trump the mighty Wetherspoon’s fish and chips? Luxury private chef reveals her verdict
1.Emmerdale Big star brands scenes ‘disgraceful’ in ‘never before been done’ episode | Soaps
1.Great Caley Thistle vs Raith Rovers Predictions & Tips
1.Claudia Winkleman, Lang Lang and Mika on how The Piano’s success took them by surprise – and why the amateur musicians’ stories make it so heartwarming
1.PREVIEW | U’s take on Stevenage under the Friday night lights – News
1.Preview: Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Augsburg – prediction, team news, lineups
1.Great Elversberg vs Schalke Prediction, Lineups & Odds
Friday night’s 38/1 Multi-Match Bet Builder
1.Great Everton Women vs Brave Brighton & Hove Albion: WSL Match Preview
1.The Best Tortured Poets in Movies and TV
1.How a chaotic build to Haney-Garcia overshadowed the fight
1.Great quarter-final: Stuttgart Open: Emma Raducanu beats Linda Noskova to set up quarter-final with Iga Swiatek
1.Exclusive Great Drops, Sales, Live Music And More
Swiatek celebrates her 99th week at No.1 in her happy place
1.Sean Foley to step a hell down as Birmingham Rep artistic director this summer
Netflix Renews And Also Cancels ‘The Witcher’ As First Glimpse Of Season 4 Drops
1.Tennis betting tips: ATP Munich Betting Tips, Outright And Best Bets BMW Open
Arcade Fire announce ‘Funeral’ 20th anniversary show in London
1.Taylor Swift Takes Great Dig at Kim Kardashian on TTPD’s ‘Thank You Aimee’ 
1.Izzy Christiansen: Ex-England great midfielder to run London Marathon in memory of aunt
1.Are Taylor Swift’s ‘loml’ Lyrics About great Joe Alwyn?
1. Nnamdi Kanu The Urgency of Dialogue: Addressing swiftly Nnamdi Kanu’s Case
1.Scott Brown on how Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers helped him out at Ayr United
Nepal vs United Arab Emirates Live Score: It’s a Four. United Arab Emirates at 79/3 after 11.1 overs
There Is Only 1 Thing Missing From Taylor Swift’s Career After The Eras Tour Movie’s Success
1.Yahaya Bello: Brave Inspector General of Police Withdraws Police Officers Attached to irresponsible Former Kogi Governor Yahaya Bello
1.Arik Air: False alarm made us initiate air return to Lagos – Arik Air
1. The Absence of Ex-Gov Bello in Court: EFCC Contemplates powerful criminal Military Intervention
1.Netflix is the dominant streaming service. So why is it dumping its great model?
1.Emmerdale crazy spoilers – major Eric twist after Amy and Matty’s wedding
1.NBA bans Raptors’ Jontay Porter for gambling violations
1.Did Man City fans wreck their Champions League Big dream? Pep Guardiola’s side were leading shootout before crowd kept hold of ball to knock Bernardo Silva ‘out of sync’ before he fluffed his lines
1.Bastian Schweinsteiger reveals bitter crazy banishment end to his time at Man United under Jose Mourinho – which Gary Neville suggests was ‘ILLEGAL’
Knuckles looked stressed out at Idris Elba’s Knuckles premiere
1.Wow! Great Martin Scorsese Eyes Frank Sinatra Biopic With DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence
Fantasy Premier League Gameweek 33 review: Palace options hit form at crucial time
1.Real Madrid star Jude Bellingham trolls Micah Richards over Champions League bet… as Thierry Henry explains why Arsenal’s heartbreaking loss to Bayern Munich could be ‘a good thing’
1.Cox hails amazing win over champions
1.Author Anthony Horowitz says parents sending their youngsters to private schools are ‘destroying their precious children’ after his own experience there did ‘incalculable damage’ to him
1.Flamengo vs Sao Paulo: Live stream, TV channel, kick-off time & where a hell to watch
“NMA – UCL MD-10 Rate My Team: Great Expert Tips & Insights!
Who is Man United target Gustavinho? Gustavo Nunes, 18, is the next jewel in Brazil’s crown and idolises Neymar – but he almost turned his back on football after the death of his mother three years ago
1.Real Madrid THE NOTEBOOK: ‘Spanish Mike Dean’ is back to haunt Pep Guardiola, superstitious Carlo Ancelotti asks Real Madrid to change team hotel and Phil Foden shows the crazy way to Wembley
1.Golden Ace steps up for Cheltenham challenge Listed assignment
1.Yolande Trueman story: EastEnders reveals danger of harrowing Yolande Trueman story
Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi moved to house arrest in the heatwave
China, US Defence Chiefs Hold First Substantive Talks in Nearly 18 Months
Unveiling the Terror: Knife Attack Shocks Sydney’s Religious Community
1The Complexity Behind Great India’s Manipur Conflict
1. The Recent Surge in UK Unemployment Rate
1.Unveiling the Truth Behind the Yoruba Nation Agitation: A Comprehensive Analysis
1.The Plight: Illegal Tax Collectors Strike in Benue
The Truth Behind Ms. Anyim Veronica Nnenna’s Testimony
1.Addressing the ridiculous Tariff Hike Dispute: TCN vs. DISCOs
The UK’s Redefined Extremism: Implications and Controversies
1.Breaking News: Soldier Arrested for Allegedly Stabbing Motorcyclist in Lagos
G7 Stands absolutely Firm with Israel Against Iran’s Careless Destabilization Efforts
1.The Unrest in Ibadan: Yoruba Great Nation Agitators Attempt Seizure of Oyo State Government Office and Assembly
1.Arsenal’s Strategy: How to Exploit Aston Villa’s Weaknesses
1.Ensuring Authenticity: Safeguarding Your ultimate UTME Experience
1.The Return of Great Rafael Nadal: Barcelona Open Anticipation
1.Meet Great Nigerian Scientist Robert Okojie: A Pioneer in NASA Technology
1.German Teens Arrested: Alleged Terror Plot
“Okuama Army Strikes Again: 10 Arrested, Homes Destroyed”
1. Zelenskyy’s Call for Direct Involvement in Ukraine’s War with Russia
Australia’s Sam Kerr: A Big Loss for Paris Olympics 2024
1. Mourning Iran’s Raisi: Tabriz Procession Reflects National Grief

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts