When Luna Watfa refused to reveal any information to her interrogators, they took her son, 17, and threatened to torture him. “They put my son’s hands behind his back, his T-shirt over his head and they took him,” she says.
The woman looked uneasy and uncomfortable as she peered outside her tent. All she could see was an empty stretch with a few bushes, where men were taking turns to urinate. There were no facilities available for women. This was the situation nine months ago at the border of Serbia and Hungary, when I visited a refugee camp where men, women, and children were stuck for days. Unfortunately, not much has changed since then, and for one hidden segment of refugee society, life is even harder than this.
There’s a darkish room, maybe 12 feet by 13 feet, tucked into the back area of the ground floor of a school called Lycée Wima. Seated along walls of peeling paint are more than a dozen women sewing patterned bags, shoes, dresses, and dolls on elegant Singer sewing machines from the time between the last world wars. The work is exacting.
Just like any other population caught up in a war zone, people with disabilities suffer displacement, injury, and trauma. About 6.5 million of the 43.51 million people who have been displaced due to conflict live with a disability. Yet in conflict, when the social fabric is vulnerable and resources are limited, people with disabilities face increased violence while their protection needs often go ignored.