Our Statement on the crisis in Ukraine

Date: 9th March 2022

This is a joint statement from Stuart Campbell, Scotland’s Ambassador to Down’s Syndrome International and Eddie McConnell, Chief Executive of Down’s Syndrome Scotland.

“We are horrified at the crisis in Ukraine and the level of destruction taking place. We know from other conflicts that disabled people, including people with Down’s syndrome, often face a greater risk of abandonment, despair and terror.  Mechanisms for inclusion will have collapsed making people with Down’s syndrome, still in Ukraine, even more isolated and extremely vulnerable.

We are calling on all governments involved in this conflict, and all governments around the world, to ensure that people with Down’s syndrome are included in the humanitarian plans to provide relief and aid to those who are the innocent victims in this terrible crisis.

It is vital that all agencies uphold their obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) on situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies and that the UN Security Council Resolution 2475 (2019) on the Protection of Persons with Disabilities in Conflict is respected by all parties.

Stuart Campbell, Scotland’s Ambassador to Down’s Syndrome International said: “I stand shoulder to shoulder with my friends in Ukraine.  We cannot allow a single person with Down’s syndrome to become a victim in this crisis and I ask all agencies involved in the humanitarian and relief effort to prioritise people with Down’s syndrome and their families in their plans to support and protect the innocent victims of this crisis.”

Eddie McConnell, Chief Executive of Down’s Syndrome Scotland said: “In two weeks’ time, the global community of people with Down’s syndrome comes together for World Down’s Syndrome Day (21st March 2022) when we celebrate the potential and the values of people with Down’s syndrome.  Leaders across the world would do well to pause and reflect on these values in this time of grave conflict.  It is vital that no person with Down’s syndrome is left behind and abandoned in Ukraine.”

For any press enquiries regarding this matter please contact Claire Serplus 07825 326 910 or email claire@dsscotland.org.uk.