Equal work for the disabled
In the world of work, persons with disabilities experience common
patterns of discrimination — such as high unemployment rates, prejudice about their productivity and lack of access to the workplace environment.
In the European Union (EU) in 2003,40 per cent of disabled people of working
age were employed compared to 64.2 per cent of persons without a disability.
What is more, 52 per cent of EU working age disabled persons are economically
inactive, compared to 28 per cent of persons without disability.
Among persons with disabilities, men are almost twice as likely to have jobs as
women. Unemployment rates vary between types of disability, being the highest
among those with a mental illness. In the United Kingdom, an estimated 75 per
cent of those of working age with mental illness are unemployed.
Decent work is the ILO’s primary goal for everyone, including people with disabilities. ILO offices in Geneva and around the world will work
together to raise the visibility of the barriers preventing persons with disabilities from full participation in the labour market and
highlight efforts to overcome these barriers, focusing, in particular, on good practice and collaboration among key stakeholders — government, workers’ and employers’groups, disabled persons organizations and
Putting decent work into practice means promoting employment opportunities for persons with disabilities based on the principles of equal opportunity, equal treatment, mainstreaming and community involvement.
The ILO works to achieve its goals of decent work for all through promoting labour standards, advocacy,knowledge building and technical cooperation services and partnerships, both within the ILO and externally.
Last updated: April 29, 2010
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