Leading charity calls on UK Government to put disability at the heart of international development

Leonard Cheshire Disability logo‘Put disability at the heart of international development programmes’: this is the message Leonard Cheshire Disability gave to the International Development Select Committee today (Tuesday 14 January). The charity was presenting oral evidence as part of the committee’s first ever inquiry on disability and development.

Leonard Cheshire Disability told MPs that disabled people (one billion worldwide) make up one of the most disadvantaged and marginalised groups within society and are routinely denied their most basic human rights – cut off from education, employment and healthcare. Many are trapped in a cycle of extreme poverty. But despite this, disabled people are frequently left out of development programmes.

In evidence to the committee Leonard Cheshire Disability called on:

  • The UK government to take a lead role in pushing for disability to be included in international development
  • The Department for International Development to put in place a clear disability strategy that will promote the inclusion of disability in development

Mahesh Chandrasekar, International Policy and Campaigns Manager at Leonard Cheshire Disability, presented the charity’s evidence. He says: “With over 400 million disabled people living below the poverty line, global efforts to address poverty cannot afford to ignore disability. The UK Government must lead the way in ensuring that disabled people are no longer left behind in international development.”

Leonard Cheshire Disability supports thousands of people with disabilities across the globe, through programmes focusing on education – ensuring children with disabilities go to school; livelihoods – supporting adults with disabilities into work; and campaigning – enabling young people with disabilities to campaign for their full inclusion in society. They carry out vital academic research at their Inclusive and Development Centre, based at University College London. Visit www.LCDisability.org

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