From the editors

An oft-quoted statistic is the World Health Organisation’s estimate that persons with disabilities account for 7-10% of the world’s population. This would imply that there are three to four million persons living with disability among the world’s 42 million displaced. It is not (yet) common practice, however, to include people with disabilities among those who are considered as particularly vulnerable in disasters and displacement and who therefore require targeted response. 

The feature theme articles in this issue of FMR show why disabled people who are displaced need particular consideration and highlight some of the initiatives taken (locally and at the global level) to change thinking and practices so that their vulnerability is recognised, their voices heard – and responses made inclusive.

The word ‘inclusion’ is found – unsurprisingly and uncontroversially – in many of the articles in this issue. Use of other words and phrases used by the wider disability movement has been harder to manage. Some people use ‘people with disabilities’ or ‘living with disabilities’, while others argue strongly for the term ‘disabled people’ to reflect the disabling impact of society’s attitudes. We did a lot of research, talking and thinking about this before we even issued our call for articles, and in the end we decided to allow authors to use the terminology they themselves prefer. We sincerely hope that this does not cause offence to any of our readers.

We ourselves, in producing this issue, have been challenged to make FMR more accessible to those with visual disabilities. We have received good advice about how a relatively small amount of work on the presentation of FMR online can increase accessibility. All articles in this issue are available online in PDF and Word format and as audio files. Our website also offers links to software downloads to aid accessibility.

This issue contains a mini-feature on Brazil which also appears in Portuguese on our website. We would like to thank UNHCR in Brazil for helping to make this happen.

All issues of FMR are freely available online at We encourage you to post online or reproduce FMR articles but please acknowledge the source (with a link to our website) – and, preferably, let us know.


Forthcoming issues of FMR in 2010 and 2011

  • FMR 36: feature on the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Great Lakes, due out in November. See
  • FMR special supplement on HIV/AIDS, security and conflict, to be distributed with FMR 36. See
  • The first two issues of 2011 will include feature themes on Non-state actors and Communications and technology.


Details of all forthcoming issues can be found at

With our best wishes

Marion Couldrey & Maurice Herson
Editors, Forced Migration Review


We are grateful to Adele Perry and to Gil Loescher for their valuable support and advice on the feature theme section of this issue.

We would like to thank those agencies who have generously provided funding for this particular issue: CBM, the Commonwealth Foundation, Generalitat Valenciana/Consellería de Educación, Handicap International, the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies, and Sightsavers.

Commonwealth Foundation logo

We would also like to express our gratitude to the ABILIS Foundation for their support for this issue. ABILIS supports activities to empower persons with disabilities in the Global South; see for more information.


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