Persons with disability have been blocked out of our everyday reality, touching only those who are caregivers. Seventy-five per cent live in rural areas, only 49% of this population is literate and only 34% employed. Women make up 42.46% of the total population of persons with disability. August 2006.
In spite of existing national, regional and international laws and instruments and of actions by international bodies and efforts by non-governmental organizations, disabled persons continue to be subjected to violations of their human rights, a situation which is aggravated in the case of women with disabilities, as they suffer a double discrimination.
If the provisions contained in international treaties and other instruments were adequately enforced, equal and full participation of disabled persons in the field of labor would have already been attained. This, unfortunately, has not happened yet, despite the efforts of the International Labor Organization, which has been advocating since the 1940's in favor of equal opportunities for people with disabilities. With the aim of eliminating this gap, several organizations are currently working together with the United Nations to create a specific Convention to protect the human rights of disabled persons.
The projected Convention builds on a number of other conventions, treaties and recommendations on the subject dating back several decades, ratified by the United Nations, the ILO and different civil society initiatives. In 1994, the United Nations' Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights warned that the effects of disability discrimination have been particularly harmful in the fields of education, employment, housing, transportation, cultural activities and access to public spaces and services.
Equal opportunity for all citizens in the labor market cannot be achieved merely by passing appropriate legislation and regulations, it calls for the implementation of policies to enable the fulfillment of commitments that are binding upon the countries. All ILO Members, even if they have not ratified a particular convention, have an obligation arising from their very membership to the organization, to respect, promote and enforce the principles concerning the fundamental rights protected under such conventions, and this includes eradicating discrimination in the field of employment and occupation.
As established in the ILO's Convention No. 159 on vocational rehabilitation and employment for disabled persons, all member countries must draft, apply and revise national policies concerning vocational rehabilitation and employment of persons with disabilities. The goal is to ensure that appropriate measures are put in place to provide vocational rehabilitation for all disabled persons regardless of the origin of their disabilities, besides promoting employment opportunities and fair treatment in the labor market. All such measures must be based on the principle of equal opportunities for disabled workers and workers in general.
After five years of negotiations, countries meeting at United Nations Headquarters in New York have agreed on a new treaty to protect the rights of persons with disabilities. It is considered a historic achievement for the 650 million people with disabilities around the world that have lacked adequate protection until now. While the convention does not create new rights, it specifically prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in all areas of life, including civil rights, access to justice and the right to education, health services and access to transportation. August 2006.
Over five hundred million people, nearly 10 percent of the world's population, have a disability. The United Nations (UN) is currently negotiating a treaty, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, to ensure that human rights standards are extended to people with disabilities. In order to help promote the adoption of the Convention, the Centre for International Rehabilitation (CIR) has launched the ConventionYES! Website. March 2006.
In 1944, in a comprehensive and farsighted recommendation, the ILO unequivocally established that disabled workers, "whatever the origin of their disability, should be provided with full opportunities for rehabilitation, specialized vocational guidance, training and retraining, and employment on useful work".
Later, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in its article 23 explicitly declared that: "Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment. Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work. Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection. Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests."
In 1983, the ILO adopted its Convention 159, which establishes a number of principles that should serve as the basis for vocational rehabilitation and employment policies, placing particular stress on legislation concerning equal opportunity and treatment.
U.N. member states and disabled advocacy groups finalised a draft agreement to defend basic rights like independent living, employment and equality, paving the way for the first-ever international treaty guaranteeing the rights of the disabled. February 2005.
Draft articles for a comprehensive and integral international Convention on the protection and promotion of the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities. The Working Group established by the Ad Hoc Committee will meet from 5 to 16 January 2004 to draft a text of an international convention on the rights of persons with disabilities. A Virtual Forum has been launched to facilitate dialogue on the disability convention between members of the Working Group and among all interested parties. 2003.
The programme on Disabled Persons of the Division for Social Policy and Development aims to promote, monitor and evaluate the implementation of the World Programme of Action and the Standard Rules to assist in furthering effective measures for prevention of disability, rehabilitation, and the realization of the goals of full participation of disabled persons in social life and development, and of equality. Documents, mandates, international standards, related themes, meetings.
Follow-up to the World Summit for Social Development and the twenty-fourth special session of the General Assembly: review of relevant United Nations plans and programmes of action pertaining to the situation of social groups.
Does the national policy for persons with disability announced in February 2006 indicate a withdrawal of the State from its responsibility towards the disabled and a tendency to thrust that responsibility on civil society and communities? August 2006.
The ILO has commissioned this paper as a contribution to the deliberations taking place in preparation for the development of a United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The paper is intended to be of specific relevance to those involved in drafting the provisions concerning employment and work in the proposed Convention. Pdf format.
Position papers by some countries and organizations on the subject of the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled People, as well as daily bulletins from UN ad hoc committee meetings 2002 & 2003, the UN's draft resolution on the rights of disabled people, and other relevant information and statements on the topic of the UN Convention.
This is a very important subject requiring deep thought and analysis. It calls for a multi-disciplinary approach, taking into consideration the fact that little has been written about people with disabilities in Africa.
This Network brings together research centres, universities, enterprises, government departments, trade unions, and organizations of and for persons with disabilities. Their common goal is to advance competitive employment and training opportunities for persons with disabilities.
The Institute's purpose is to promote the opportunities of persons with disabilities to gain more personal and political power, self-determination, full participation and equality through information, training materials, consultancy and technical assistance.
This Mexican organization provides an opportunity to transform thoughts, concepts and techniques for people with disabilities to be actively involved in society, both socially and economically. In Spanish.
Workability International represents providers of work and employment services for people with disabilities. More than one million people with disabilities are engaged in work programmes delivered by the members of this organization distributed in some 28 countries.