International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2020- Doha Debates


Somalilandsun: In this special International Day of Persons with Disabilities episode of #DearWorldLive, international disability rights activist Judith Heumann and human rights lawyer Haben Girma join us to examine the physical and social barriers that prevent equality for all.

3 December is International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD). On this Day WHO joins partners to celebrate “a day for all”. This theme reflects a growing understanding that disability is part of the human condition. Almost everyone will be temporarily or permanently impaired at some point in life. Despite this, few countries have adequate mechanisms in place to respond fully to the needs of people with disabilities.

In 2020, the UN’s theme was “Building Back Better: toward a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 World”. WHO supported this theme by underlining the importance of fostering an inclusive culture and responding to the urgent needs of people with disability in all aspects of society, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Key messages

  • Disability is part of the human experience.
  • WHO recognizes that a world where all people attain the highest possible standard of health and well-being is only possible if health systems are inclusive of people with disability.
  • People with disability have been amongst the most vulnerable populations during the current COVID-19 outbreak due to many health, social and environmental barriers, discriminatory attitudes and inaccessible infrastructure.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic provides a unique opportunity to build back better our health systems so that they are more inclusive and responsive to the needs and human rights of people experiencing disability in all their diversity.
  • Countries need to shift towards a service delivery system rooted in the communities, reaching out and empowering people with disability


To learn more about the global fight for disability justice:…