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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Report suggests people with disabilities are disproportionately affected by extreme heat

People with disabilities in Spain and other European countries have been disproportionately affected by unprecedented heat extremes, a leading human rights watchdog said on Monday, urging authorities to provide adequate support.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report that people with disabilities faced risk of death, physical, social, and mental health distress due to extreme heat particularly if “left to cope with dangerous temperatures on their own”.

Some people with disabilities are more likely to have health conditions or use medication that can affect the body’s ability to respond to heat. Having to stay home due to the heat can also lead to social isolation, HRW said.


In Spain, one of the European nations that experienced record-breaking heatwaves last summer, the national plan to address the impacts of climate change lists actions to protect “vulnerable” populations but it does not propose any specific measures for people with disabilities, HRW said.

HRW interviewed 33 people with disabilities in the Spanish region of Andalusia and all said “they felt neglected” during heatwaves.

Bull recently presented the report to authorities in Andalusia and said they were committed to prioritise the issue in the future.

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