Environment and climate from a functional law perspective

En man sitter i rullstol framför ett förfallet hus efter jordbävning på Haiti

Despite the fact that people with disabilities are particularly hard hit by climate change, there is almost always a lack of a functional law perspective on climate issues.

People with disabilities are almost never included in the work for a better climate and information on climate change is rarely available in available formats. It can have devastating consequences. 

The impact of climate change on humans and the environment is significant and they are the biggest fateful issue of our time. Those already living in poverty and vulnerability are particularly hard hit. As a result of people with disabilities being overrepresented in terms of poverty while often being systematically discriminated against, their exposure to increasing climate change is particularly serious.

People with disabilities are not only severely affected by short-term disasters, they are also particularly vulnerable to gradual changes such as drought, rising temperatures and rising sea levels. 

Prevented from participating in the work for a better environment

Due to lack of accessibility, the world misses the commitment and contributions of millions of people.

Information about the climate crisis, its consequences and how we as individuals can contribute is rarely given in sign language, easy to read, interpreted visually or in Braille. Without information, it is difficult to be involved and change.

Climate work follows the same discriminatory structures as other areas and people with disabilities are made invisible, forgotten and de-prioritized. An example is recycling stations that are virtually never adapted so that people who are blind or use a wheelchair can use them.

There are one billion people with disabilities in the world. The work for climate and the environment could go further if people with disabilities were better included. 

Recommendations to actors in global sustainability:

Collaborate with organizations of people with disabilities to improve strategies, policies, plans, decisions and evaluations.

Develop policies that protect and include people with disabilities so they are not exposed to risks.

Collect data on how climate change affects people with disabilities to highlight how certain groups are particularly vulnerable and affected to a greater extent.

Ensure that also particularly vulnerable groups of people with disabilities as girls and women, people with mental disabilities and intellectual disabilities are referred to in governing documents and objectives.

Use a twin-track approach and let the functional law perspective permeate all initiatives while you design special solutions for certain groups.

Read more:

pojke sitter i rullstol bredvid står han bror de befinner sig i ett flyktingläger

Particularly vulnerable but forgotten in crisis preparedness

In crises and disasters, people with disabilities are often the last to receive information and the last to receive help.

Två unga kvinnor i rullstol sitter bredvid varandra, vi ser deras ryggar

Excluded from decision-making and influence processes

People with disabilities are disproportionately affected by climate change but are excluded from decision-making processes. 

Movie: Global Goals

Disability and the global goals

Global goals are the most ambitious sustainable development agenda that the countries of the world have ever adopted. Disability is mentioned 11 times in the Global Goals and 7 of the 17 Goals have explicit references to disability.

Global goals must solve the climate crisis by 2030, and in order for this to be possible, people with disabilities must be included in the work. 

Here's how you can contribute

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MyRight is the only organization in Sweden that works exclusively for the rights of persons with disabilities and poverty reduction. We are a non-profit organization and need your support to continue working for persons with disabilities. Every contribution makes a difference.

Read more on our website or take part in our information material such as reports and films. To change the world requires knowledge and commitment.

If you want to support another organization - ask how they work to safeguard the rights of people with disabilities. Can they promise that persons with disabilities will also be able to take part in their efforts?