Discrimination in disaster situations is the focus of the 2007 edition of the World Disaster Report, published by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The publication examines which groups suffer the greatest discrimination, how this is manifested, and how vulnerabilities among these groups increase in disaster situations. It focuses on the elderly, people with disabilities, minorities, and women. At times, discrimination is exacerbated by attitudes that originate within communities or families.
The document makes recommendations on how to ensure that the needs of marginal and vulnerable communities are taken into account in disaster prevention programs. It emphasizes that these groups must receive adequate and timely assistance during emergencies and be included in recovery activities after a disaster. The report points out that it is the responsibility of international agencies and of governments to identify and address discriminatory attitudes and processes.
Race, color, gender, language, religion, politics, opinion, social or national origin, and economic conditions are only some of the causes of discrimination that can compromise how certain groups access international and local assistance during disasters. The document is available at www.ifrc.org.