Disabled Refugees and Liberty

Webinar – 5 May 2020 ⋅ 14:00 – 16:00 CET
European Independent Living Day

Organized by Disabled Refugees Welcome/Independent Living Institute and the European Network on Independent Living

Register here 

Disabled Refugees Welcome (DRW), a project of Independent Living Institute (ILI) is holding a webinar in cooperation with ENIL – the European Network on Independent Living. The webinar ‘Disabled Refugees and Liberty’ is in celebration of May 5th – the European Independent Living Day. The aim of this day is to raise awareness on Independent Living and with the theme of liberty, we want to highlight the fact that disabled people are often deprived of their liberty. This is even more so true of disabled refugees and migrants.

People can be deprived of their liberty by having to live in institutions, group homes or nursing homes, or by being isolated at home without the support they need to live independently. Disabled refugees have trouble finding a home, are not accessing information or other things such as: medical care, technical devices, education, transport, employment and social services that are needed in order to be integrated in our societies.

Another aspect of liberty is the ability to enjoy the freedom of movement. To achieve actual free movement, (disabled) people including disabled migrants in the EU should be able to fully access support, transport and other services when living, travelling or studying in the country where they live and in any of the Member States.

DRW – Disabled Refugees Welcome is a project that has been operating in Sweden since 2017. The project team sees how today there is a difference, and disabled refugees and migrants are on some political agendas. Integration is the goal, but there are many barriers remaining.

The webinar hosts speakers from the UNHCR, European Disability Forum, Disabled People International, ENIL and from DRW / Independent Living Institute. The situations of disabled migrants, the importance of the UNCRPD, the impact of COVID-19 and other subjects will be touched upon.

If you are interested in joining our network working for the rights of disabled migrants, please contact: Jamie.bolling@independentliving.org.


Moderated by Jamie Bolling, Project Leader of Disabled Refugees Welcome at the Independent Living Institute


14:00 – 14:05 How Zoom works – Annemarie Isbert, Volunteer, Independent Living Institute


14:05 – 14:20 What is Disabled Refugees Welcome and how has it worked? What impact has COVID-19 had on disabled refugees in Sweden? – Jamie Bolling, Project Leader, Disabled Refugees Welcome (DRW), Independent Living Institute


14:20 – 14:35 The work of UNHCR to promote the rights of persons with disabilities, especially Articles 18, 19 and 20 of the UN CRPD – Ricardo Pla Cordero, Protection Officer, Disability Inclusion, UNHCR


14:35 – 14:50 What is needed for migrants and persons with disabilities to be accepted in society? What is the situation of persons with disabilities in emergency situations? What is the situation of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees with disabilities in Italy and the EU? – Giampiero Griffo, Disabled People’s International World Council Member


14:50 – 15:00 EDF’s work on disabled refugees – Ann Sofie Leenknecht, Human Rights Coordinator, European Disability Forum


15:00 – 15:10 DRW results and publications – Jamie Bolling
15:10 – 15:45 Questions and discussion




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