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Highlights of USICD's Work in 2017
The USICD Board and Staff would like to thank our USICD members, partners, sponsors, friends and colleagues for being with us in 2017, and for celebrating our 25th Anniversary with us at the USICD Gala that was held at the Embassy of France on 5 December!
Protecting civilians with disabilities in conflicts
By Catalina Devandas, Shantha Rau Barriga, Professor Gerard Quinn, Janet Lord
People with disabilities rank high among those badly affected by conflict. For one thing, conflicts degrade whatever support systems are in existence. The lucky ones can flee – but many are forced by their circumstances to remain in the conflict zone after others have been evacuated, and are particularly vulnerable as a result.
The tendency in many countries to congregate people with disabilities into institutions creates heightened vulnerabilities that can complicate the task of civilian protection. History is replete with examples, for instance, the slaughter of civilians with disabilities at a psychiatric hospital during the Rwandan genocide or, earlier, under the Nazi T-4 programme of extermination of disabled adults and children in institutions and hospitals. Indeed, the very existence of clustered settlements – psychiatric hospitals, orphanages, social care homes and other institutions – can tempt some combatants to use people with disabilities as human shields.
Read the rest of this article in the December 1st, 2017, issue of Nato Review.
One of the authors, Janet Lord, serves on USICD's Board of Directors.