This is unbelievable that I would be thinking or having to write about this in 2020. Everyday life is a struggle for anyone with a Disability, or medical condition although we might make it look routine. There is no way to fathom what it would be like in the mist of senseless war as for the people in Ukraine.
When Russia started bombing the cities, most people ran to the subways for shelter. There have been reports that the subways are not accessible, so the civilians with disabilities are sitting at home, hoping not to be hit by a missile. Why should any family member be forced to decide to leave their loved ones for their own safety, or sit at home with no food, water and power hoping not to be killed.
In these conditions, one could pass away from the lack of nutrition, medicine or even worse no power for medical equipment and for what?
VIA: Milan Šveřepa
Testimonies from family members of people with intellectual disabilities during the first months of the Russian war on Ukraine.
Some of what we hear from families
“Children are locked between four walls, do not have proper communication. After the explosions, many people have a fear of going out in the streets. All our achievements have come to nothing.”
“The biggest problem we have is for one of our families with two children with intellectual disabilities. They are now homeless after a rocket explosion. This family left for the village in the region. There is nowhere to go back, the house is destroyed.”
“All other members of our organization live at home. During alarms, they hide in basements or at home in bathrooms. It probably sounds scary, but everyone is already tired of being afraid. We lived a day, and thank God.”
“Sorry for being a little chaotic, the constant sirens make it impossible to concentrate.”
“We are a transit stop for people with disabilities and children with disabilities traveling abroad. They stay with us from 1 to 7 days. We have 20-40 such families a week.”
Through this conflict in Ukraine, what happens to persons with disabilities?
“War undermines the lives, health and safety of all human beings, but for approximately three million persons with disabilities and their families living in Ukraine, the situation is much worse. As a person with disability advocating for rights of refugees with disabilities for many years, I am deeply concerned about my sisters and brothers in Ukraine who are facing multiple barriers to access safe evacuation and humanitarian assistance,” said Yannis Vardakastanis, President of the International Disability Alliance (IDA) and the European Disability Forum (EDF). “War can be the cause of violations of human rights including the rights of persons with disabilities and must end immediately. In the meanwhile, all involved parties must fully respect their international obligations to ensure protection and safety for persons with disabilities.”
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Security Council Unanimously Adopts Resolution 2475 (2019), Ground-Breaking Text on Protection of Persons with Disabilities in Conflict