Workshop on human rights in disasters: search and rescue operations in disasters especially for vulnerable people
The organizers have joined efforts to achieve a common goal: to improve technology for search and rescue operations of people with disabilities and vulnerable groups of population. In general, human rights are at “risk” in case of a disaster. This is especially true for people with any kind of disability, such as mobility problems, sight or hearing difficulties and broadly for vulnerable groups, such as the elderly and children.
However, the issue of human rights is missing in most of activities and discussions for coping with disasters. To encourage efforts towards this direction, the FP7 project Second Generation Locator for Urban Search and Rescue operations –“SGL for USaR” initiated a number of actions, such as the identification of possible gaps in Search and Rescue procedures and the sharing of ideas regarding potential technologies, proposed by experts with specialized experiences.
This initiative, launched in 2009, is strongly supported by the Open Partial Agreement (OPA) of the Council of Europe (CE) the General Secretary for Civil Protection, Greece (GSCP) and the National Technical University of Athens, Greece (NTUA). It is expected that other organizations will join this effort in the near future. In that scope, a workshop is organized with the participation of different rescue teams by a number of European Countries. Priority will be given on addressing hand-on and immediate based issues; operational issues and capabilities of available technologies.
During the different sessions, human rights in disasters will be overviewed, as well as experiences and lessons-learned will be presented. The last session of the workshop is devoted to building a catalogue of ideas for further elaboration and can be considered as a proposal to relevant organizations. This joint effort aims at mobilizing interested communities, pushing forward the issue to the related organizations and bodies and also establishing a working group on these issues.