Degree Name

MA in Social Justice in Intercultural Relations

First Advisor

Larissa Snorek-Yates


During emergency responses and situations, Deaf people are one of the more vulnerable groups to the effects of natural disasters in developing countries. They have communicational and cultural barriers due to lack of accessible information. They are often overlooked, neglected and forgotten in disaster relief and humanitarian response by the governmental and/or humanitarian relief organizations.

The United Nations has created the new international document, The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (U.N. CRPD). It provides the full range of rights for Deaf people and persons with disabilities, including during humanitarian emergencies in natural disaster situations. In addition, the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) and Swedish National Association of the Deaf (SDR) have presented the newly published report, Deaf People and Human Rights. It has incorporated research in human rights for Deaf people, and how their rights are being protected by the U.N. Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

This research examines the above documents for the extent of their accessibility to services – an important aspect of human rights for Deaf people. It also includes interviews with two Deaf relief workers who traveled to Haiti and Chile during recent emergencies. The discussion focuses on the capability of developing nations and humanitarian relief organizations to respond to the needs of Deaf victims during times of natural disasters. The research concludes with recommendations for how governments and NGOs should improve their services for Deaf people/victims during natural disasters.


Family, Life Course, and Society | Inequality and Stratification | Infrastructure | Social Welfare