The  of the Secretary-General for the World Humanitarian Summit (2016) recognized that persons with disabilities are among the most marginalized in any crisis-affected community. Persons with disabilities are over-represented among those living in , while an estimated 6.7 million persons with disabilities are forcibly displaced as the result of persecution, conflict, violence and other human rights violations.

Persons with disabilities are disproportionately affected during humanitarian crises and emergency situations. In some cases, the morbidity of persons with disabilities in a disaster was estimated at a rate 4 times higher than those without disabilities. When they reach relative safety, people with disabilities often fall through the cracks of response efforts or face barriers to access even the most basic life-saving assistance and protection. Seldom are persons with disabilities meaningfully consulted nor actively involved in the decision-making processes which affect their lives.

A , developed in cooperation with over 70 stakeholders, was launched during the World Humanitarian Summit in May 2016. In the meantime, it has been endorsed by more than 210 States, UN agencies, international organisations, NGOs and global, regional and national organisations of persons with disabilities. They all committed to render humanitarian action inclusive of persons with disabilities, by lifting barriers persons with disabilities are facing in accessing relief, protection and recovery support and ensuring their participation in the development, planning and implementation of humanitarian programmes. The Charter continues to be open for endorsement by interested Governments, UN agencies, organisations involved in humanitarian contexts and organisations of persons with disabilities.

The Charter also includes a commitment to developing globally-endorsed guidelines on the inclusion of persons with disabilities, on which nearly 100 stakeholders from a variety of organisations are now working under the auspices of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Task Team on the inclusion of persons with disabilities in humanitarian action.