On the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the UK Department for International Development (UK DfiD) has launched an updated Disability Framework – One Year On, Leaving No One Behind. The framework, which drives internal and external practices to meet the rights of people with disabilities under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) and in the context of the Agenda 2030 in relation to the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is reviewed annually. The commmitment to ‘leaving no one behind’ is sincere and the on-going process of revising and refining the framework in a transparent manner reflects the complexities of addressing ‘disability’ in a global context but is underpinned by a clear conviction that human rights have to be met everywhere. The updated framework emphasises mental health related disabilities to a greater extent as well as issues related to stigma and discrimination and economic empowerment. The document reports on progress that has been made in the area of violence against girls and women and illustrates how in Rwanda DFID has used a disability lens to examine their bilateral aid programme in terms of its inclusiveness, i.e. whether all programme activities are inclusive of people with disabilities. The document further provides insights into the difficulties of capturing disability data in an inclusive and comprehensive manner globally. The advocated use of the UN Washington Group Short Set of questions in censuses and national surveys will have to be accompanied by additional and more tailored methodologies to be inclusive of for example, children with disabilities.
Overall, the UK DFID approach is exemplary and progressive and we can hope for further updates in the near future on how this framework helps guide practices and national initiatives to eradicate disability-related inequalities.