Assessment Brief on Rohingya Refugees with Disabilities (November 2019)

Publication language
Date published
01 Nov 2019
Factsheets and summaries
Development & humanitarian aid, Disability, Forced displacement and migration, Host Communities, Refugee Camps, Psychosocial support, humanitarian action, Humanitarian Principles, Protection, human rights & security

During the last four decades, Rohingya refugees have been fleeing in successive waves to Bangladesh, seeking safety from systematic and ongoing persecution in Rakhine State, Myanmar. Since August 2017, an estimated 745,000 Rohingya refugees have arrived in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, increasing the total number of Rohingya refugees to more than 905,000. In response, national and international organisations have been delivering humanitarian assistance alongside the government of Bangladesh and UN agencies. A core component of the humanitarian 2019 Joint Response Plan aims to address the meaningful and dignified inclusion of all vulnerable groups, including persons with disabilities who may have suffered greater consequences of forced displacement, during and after their flight, due to potential heightened vulnerability.

Global commitments outlined in the Charter on Inclusion of Persons With Disabilities in Humanitarian Action, an initiative emerging from the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit, highlight the importance of collecting disabilitydisaggregated data to meaningfully include persons with disabilities in planning, implementation, and monitoring of humanitarian programming. Information is available on displaced and vulnerable Rohingya communities in central Rakhine through the Sittwe profiling exercise conducted by the Joint Internally Displaced Person Profiling Service (JIPS). However, in the context of the Rohingya refugee response, comprehensive data on this population group has not previously been conducted in a systematic fashion.

This brief aims to support the need for evidenced-based inclusion mainstreaming and planning across multiple sectors, through the provision of response-level findings systematically collected through the Washington Group (WG) Questions, which have emerged as one of the key methods for surveys and censuses to identify persons at risk of participation restrictions. In addition, this brief highlights considerations and limitations regarding the methodology of disability measurement in the context of Cox’s Bazar, drawing on lessons learned from recent assessments.