Pasākuma dalībnieki pie apspriežu galda
Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

On June 10, 2024, a panel discussion "Strengthening the Protection of Refugees and Migrants with Disabilities" organized by Latvia took place at the United Nations in New York.

The panel discussion was attended by Ms Gunta Anča, Chairperson of the Latvian non-governmental organisation “Sustento”, Mr Toufiq Islam Shati, Deputy Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations in New York, Mr Orozco Anderson Henoa, Director for the Guarantee of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities at the Ministry of Equality and Equity of Colombia, and Ms Kirstin Lange, UNICEF programme specialist for disability inclusive humanitarian action.

The panelists shared examples of challenges and good practices of protecting refugees and migrants with disabilities in host countries and local communities. The representative of Bangladesh elaborated on the challenges in hosting 1.2 million rohingua refugees from Myanmar in Bangladesh.

The Colombian representative addressed the complex intersection of disability and migration, as the search for safe havens must be carried out in additional onerous conditions arising from disability.

The UNICEF’s representative analysed the challenges of a particularly vulnerable group – children and young people with disabilities – in integrating into the host country and education system. The representative of the Latvian non-governmental organization "Sustento" shared stories about the conditions of Ukrainian persons with disabilities during the war, the journey to a safe haven in European countries and the possibilities of returning to Ukraine.

The event was organised by the Permanent Mission of Latvia to the United Nations in New York together with the Missions of Bangladesh, Colombia, Tunisia to the UN in New York, and UNICEF.

The event was organized on the margins of the 17th session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

The event was organised as part of a public diplomacy programme in support of the campaign of Latvia’s candidacy for the UN Security Council. The campaign aims to ensure Latvia’s successful election to the 2025 UN Security Council for the period 2026–2027, where Latvia is a first-time candidate for an elected seat. Its motto – Together for Peace and Resilience. A seat in the UN Security Council would be one of Latvia’s most important tools for pursuing and defending its foreign policy interests, and would further expand Latvia’s international cooperation, contributing to world peace and resilience.

The recording of the event