Similar to all humanitarian emergencies, we are aware that people with disabilities, including people with Down syndrome, are at higher risk of being impacted by this situation and less likely to be included in response plans. It is important that commitments to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are upheld at this time to ensure that the COVID-19 response is disability inclusive. 

While we recognise the need for all State parties (Governments) to put in place strong measures to combat the spread of COVID-19, these measures must not be implemented at the expense of the rights of people with Down syndrome.

We strongly encourage all State parties to remember their commitments to the UN CRPD and SDGs, to ensure that they 'Leave no one behind' in their responses to the virus.

Some key considerations:

  • People with Down syndrome have an equal right to live and receive quality healthcare. State parties must ensure that no one is denied treatment or given substandard treatment on the basis of their disability (CRPD Articles 12 - Right to Life and 25 - Health);
  • People with Down syndrome have the right to information about the situation with COVID-19 and responses to it in their country in formats that they can understand (CRPD Article 21 - Freedom of expression and opinion and access to information);
  • People with Down syndrome have the right to live in the community in a place of their choosing (CRPD Article 19 - Living independently and being included in the community). They must be provided with the support they need to continue exercising this right.

We call upon the global community to ensure these basic rights are ensured at this difficult time.

DSi is working with the disability community and the International Disability Alliance (IDA) to ensure a disability inclusive response to the COVID-19 crisis.