Every day, discrimination and obstacles prevent people with disabilities from participating in society equally with everyone else. For instance, they frequently lack the rights to vote, live independently in the community, participate in sport and culture, enjoy social protection, access justice, consent to or refuse medical treatment, and freely enter legal commitments like opening a bank account, inheriting property, or purchasing it.
The full and complete realization of the human rights of all persons with disabilities is an inalienable, integral and indivisible part of all human rights and fundamental freedoms. This is consistent with the principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights instruments.
In support of this, the UNOV/UNODC Action Plan on Disability Inclusion for 2023 and 2024 was launched in January 2023, and is divided in 15 Indicators in four core areas – i) leadership, ii) strategic planning and management; iii) inclusiveness; programming; and iv) organizational culture.
The new Action Plan has been designed to build on our efforts and integrate disability inclusion in UNODC’s programmatic work and continue increasing accessibility, physically and digitally. We have also committed to review the implementation with senior management annually, discuss challenges and opportunities and take remedial action as necessary.
Since its first launch, UNOV/UNODC has been leading some initiatives to promote disability inclusion across these four core areas such as a series of webinars to raise awareness of staff and personnel, a guidance for field offices on how to mainstream disability inclusion, a disability inclusion checklist for the development of new programmes, more inclusive evaluation guidance, the creation of a Dignity and Inclusion Initiative coordinated by all UN Vienna-based Organizations and a Disability Inclusion Network with people with disabilities or family members that have a disability.
A cornerstone for our efforts on promoting disability inclusion is the active participation of persons with disabilities in all decision-making processes.
From a programmatic and operational perspective, UNODC developed a disability inclusion checklist for programme managers and a guidance note for field offices, aiming at facilitating the mainstreaming of disability inclusion in UNODC activities. UNODC also introduced a disability marker for all projects and programmes in 2022.
From an evaluation perspective, all UNODC evaluation templates and guidelines have been updated to be disability inclusive and ensure disability inclusion is mainstreamed in the evaluation deliverables and processes. The UNEG Guidance on Integrating Disability Inclusion in evaluations is included in desk review materials for all evaluation teams and UNODC has developed additional guidance related to disability inclusive evaluations of the specific mandated work of UNODC.
In addition, disability inclusion has been included as part of the external quality assessment (EQA) process for all UNODC evaluations.
Together at headquarters and with the field offices, UNODC strives to continue its efforts, both small and bigger ones, to leave no one behind, which is the Organization’s central promise for the Sustainable Development Goals.