The UNCRPD reaffirms the human rights of persons with disabilities and underlines the need to respect them. In this direction, the Italian Cooperation developed – with the involvement of civil society and beneficiaries in the whole decision-making process – guidelines, manuals, and tools with the aim to operationalize the Convention. In developing countries multiple forms of discrimination are often associated with exclusion and vulnerabilities. In these contexts, it is essential to support local authorities in adopting legislation policies and to build strategies and programmes in favour of persons with disabilities with special attention to situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies, including armed conflicts and natural disasters. All initiatives supported by the Italian Cooperation have been designed according to the idea that any intervention has to be tailored on the needs of the person with disabilities, promoting the highest possible level of autonomy and independence, and enabling them to take an active role in the development of civil society and in the response to emergencies. Having this in mind, it is crucial to build the capacity of local and national institutions, of civil society organisations and humanitarian agencies, to empower persons with disabilities and their organizations and to put in place structured consultation systems in order to facilitate data exchange and good practices among governments and civil society. The path followed by the Italian Cooperation has always been consistent with the provisions of the art. 32 and art. 11. Italy has been among the most active in supporting the rights of persons with disabilities through a participatory and multidisciplinary approach.

Keywords: disability; social inclusion; empowerment; capacity building; humanitarian aid.