Today is full of opportunity and promise, as world leaders descend on London for the UK’s first ever Global Disability Summit. We, some of the UK’s leading international development organisations, call on decision-makers to make lasting commitments to people living with disabilities across the world.
Through ignorance, indifference or intention, people with disabilities, 80% of whom live in the world’s poorest countries, continue to be excluded from society. They face multiple forms of discrimination and are denied equal rights to many fundamental aspects of life, including access to quality education, earning a living, having a family and even making independent decisions about their own lives.
Inclusion of people with disabilities must be at the heart of all aid, development and humanitarian efforts if we are to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 and truly leave no one behind. People with disabilities must not only be heard, but at the forefront of decision-making about their lives and issues that affect them. Assistive technology must also be harnessed to empower people with disabilities to live healthy, productive and independent lives.
Additionally, without good quality, consistent data on disability, addressing the rights and needs of people with disabilities is a challenge and they risk being left behind. For every person to count, people with disabilities of all ages must be counted.
By hosting today’s Summit, the UK has shown leadership in this crucial area and we call on those present to make measurable, ambitious and lasting commitments. Now is the time to end discrimination against, and ensure equal rights for, the one billion people living with disabilities across the world.
Alex Daniels Chief executive, Action on Poverty
Jimmy Innes CEO, Add International
Andrew Betts Director, Advantage Africa
Chris Roles Managing director, Age International
Judith Brodie Interim CEO, Bond
Lewis Temple Chief executive, Brac UK
Michael Adamson Chief executive, British Red Cross
Chris Bain Director CAFOD
Sean Callahan CEO, Catholic Relief Services
Kirsty Smith CEO, CBMUK
Anna-mai Andrews CEO, Chance for Childhood with Street Child Africa
Jill Healey CEO, ChildHope UK
Joanna Clark Director, Deaf Child Worldwide
Steve Crump CEO, DeafKidz International
Tim Livesey CEO, Embrace the Middle East
Amy Agnew European director, Global Citizen
Mark Waddington CEO, Hope and Homes for Children
Cat Jones Head, Hub Cymru Africa
Aleema Shivji Director, Humanity & Inclusion UK
Professor Melissa Leach Director, IDS
Naser Haghamed CEO, Islamic Relief Worldwide
Neil Heslop CEO, Leonard Cheshire
Geoff Prescott CEO, Lepra
Vinny Smith Chief executive, Meningitis Research Foundation
Simon O’Connell Executive director, Mercy Corps Europe
Amanda Wilkinson CEO, Motivation
Alex Thier Executive director, ODI
Rebecca Cronin CEO, Orbis UK
Aaron Oxley Executive director, Results UK
Alison Marshall Director, Sense International
Caroline Harper CEO, Sightsavers
Martin James Chairman, Signal
Kavita Prasad CEO, Sound Seekers
Peter Waddup National director, The Leprosy Mission England and Wales
Michele Turner Executive director, Word Learning Europe
Tim Pilkington CEO, World Vision
You can find out more about the pledge as well and general information from the Summit by clicking here.