September 2012: IDA's contribution to the consultation undertaken by OHCHR, following Human Rights Council Resolution 19/11, on the work and employment of persons with disabilities. 

Employment is for all persons in working age a key element towards combatting poverty and to achieve social inclusion and participation on society.  This applies equally to persons with disabilities. In addition, employers need to be able and willing to employ persons with disabilities in order to ensure that they can hire the most competitive candidates.

However, the available statistics indicate that the employment levels of persons with disabilities are usually two to three times lower than those of non disabled people.

Many issues affect the capacity of persons with disabilities to obtain employment and to be able to progress in their employment. Barriers to education, lack of reasonable accommodation, lack of accessibility to infrastructures and to information, limitations related to legal capacity, as well as attitudinal barriers in society are some of the areas that have a significant impact on the employment of persons with disabilities. In addition, many persons with disabilities are declared inactive, as most are not even registered as job-seekers and therefore technically inactive, and because often disability is seen as inability to work.

Article 27 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is one of the most detailed articles of the CRPD, which clearly reflects that States need to undertake a large variety of measures to ensure that persons with disabilities have equal opportunities to find an employment and to have a professional career.

The present contribution, which has been prepared in consultation with all IDA members, seeks to be mainly action oriented, trying to identify some of the key issues faced by persons with disabilities and to make concrete proposals on what States and other stakeholders should do to improve the current unsatisfactory situation.