Handicap International

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Handicap International
Handicap International logo
Founded 1982
Type Non-governmental organization
Area served
3,500 (field staff)
Website Handicap International

Handicap International is a non-governmental organization created in 1982 to provide help in refugee camps in Cambodia and Thailand. Headquartered in France and Belgium, it has since opened branches in six other countries : Switzerland, Luxembourg, United Kingdom, Germany, Canada and the United States.

It is an independent, non-profit organization which aims to help disabled and vulnerable people in situations of poverty and exclusion, conflict and disaster.[1]

More than 3,500 field staff are currently located in more than 60 countries worldwide.[1]

Handicap International is one of the 6 founding members of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines which received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997.[2] Since February 2005, the organization has also been calling for a ban on cluster munitions and conducting research documenting the human impact of these weapons. Handicap International is a founding member of the Cluster Munition Coalition, an international civil society campaign that works to eliminate the production, stockpiling and use of cluster munitions.[3] In February 2006, Belgium became the first country to enact such a ban as a result of Handicap International's public awareness and advocacy efforts.[4] Handicap International has been a vocal advocate of the Convention on Cluster Munitions(CCM), an international treaty banning the use, transfer and stockpile of these weapons adopted on 30 May 2008 in Dublin, Ireland. There are currently 68 states that have ratified the CCM and 43 non-ratifying signatories.[5]

Handicap International was the winner of the 2011 Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, a $1.5 million prize, for its commitment to disabled people living in situations of poverty, exclusion, conflict or natural disasters. It is also a member organization of the International Disability and Development Consortium.

History and beginnings[edit]

Handicap International was Founded in Thailand in 1982,[6] by Two French doctors as a response to landmine injuries suffered by people living in Cambodian refugee camps. The first orthopedic centers were set up in refugee camps in Thailand, Cambodia, Burma and Laos. Simple, locally available equipment was used by Handicap International, enabling immediate, effective and practical aid to the process, and competent local teams to carry on the work. In 1986, Handicap International Belgium was set up, and the organization began to extend its work to other countries.


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