Despite the statistical existence of unemployment in every country in the world, work continues to be an essential part of the human condition. For many, it represents the primary source of income upon which their physical survival depends. Not only is it crucial to the enjoyment of survival rights such as food, clothing, or housing, it affects the level of satisfaction of many other human rights, such as the rights to education, culture and health.
Many persons with disabilities are denied employment or given only menial or poorly remunerated jobs. This is true even though it can be demonstrated that with proper assessment, training and placement, the great majority of disabled persons can perform a large range of tasks in accordance with the prevailing work norms. In times of unemployment and economic distress, disabled persons are usually the first to be discharged and the last to be hired. Therefore, measures are needed to ensure that disabled persons have equal opportunities for productive and gainful employment in the open labour market.
Article 6 (1) of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights provides: "State Parties to the present Convention recognize the right to work which includes the right of everyone to the opportunity to gain his living by work which he freely chooses or accepts."
The right to work is also contained in regional instruments. Article 1 of the European Social Charter provides that "…everyone shall have the opportunity to earn his living in an occupation freely entered upon."
Article 6 of the Additional Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights in the Area of Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights states that "…everyone has the right to work."
Article 15 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights provides for a basic "…right to work … for everybody."
Concerning persons with disabilities specifically, the Declaration on the Rights of Mentally Retarded Persons in Paragraph 3 states that persons with disabilities have "…the right to perform productive work or to engage in any other meaningful occupation to the fullest possible extent of his capabilities."
Similarly, Paragraph 7 of the Declaration on the Rights of Disabled Persons states that persons with disabilities have the "…right, according to their capabilities, to secure and retain employment or to engage in a useful, productive and remunerative occupation…".
Rule 7 of The Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities, describes under the heading Employment that the Member States "…should recognize the principle that persons with disabilities must be empowered to exercise their human rights, particularly in the field of employment." This statement clarifies that people with disabilities have a fundamental right to work. Rule 7 also emphasizes that "…in both rural and urban areas, they [persons with disabilities] must have equal opportunities for productive and gainful employment in the labour market."
The development of work skills is important for persons with disabilities in that the improvement of work skills enhances independence and builds self-esteem. Needless to say, the development of skills through vocational training increases the opportunities for persons with disabilities in the world of work.
Paragraph 132 of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons consists of a list of services that should be provided by Governments to ensure that disabled persons have equal opportunities for productive and gainful employment. Such services should include, vocational assessment and guidance, vocational training, placements and follow-up.
The Tallinn Guidelines for Action on Human Resource Development in the Field of Disability states in paragraph 33: " Disabled persons have the right to be trained for and to work on equal terms in the regular labour force."
Paragraph 6 of the Declaration on the Rights of Disabled Persons states that "…disabled persons have the right to (…) education, vocational training and rehabilitation, (…) which will enable them to develop their capabilities and skills to the maximum and will hasten the processes of their social integration or reintegration."
According to Article 1 (5) of the Convention concerning Vocational Guidance and Vocational Training in the Development of Human Resources (ILO Convention No. 142) States are to implement programmes and policies to "…encourage and enable all persons, on an equal basis and without any discrimination whatsoever, to develop and use their capabilities for work…".
More specifically, the Convention provides that States shall "…adopt and develop comprehensive and co-ordinated policies and programmes of vocational guidance and vocational training " (article 1). Article 3 (1) specifically refers to disabled persons: "Each Member shall gradually extend its systems of vocational guidance, including continuing employment information, with a view to ensuring that comprehensive information and the broadest possible guidance are available to (...) handicapped and disabled persons."
The Recommendation concerning Vocational Rehabilitation of the Disabled (ILO Recommendation No. 99) outlines various principles and methods of vocational guidance, vocational training and placement of disabled persons. Paragraph 2 provides that vocational rehabilitation services should be made available to all disabled persons. Paragraph 3 states that "…all necessary and practicable measures should be taken to establish or develop specialized vocational guidance service for disabled persons requiring aid in choosing or changing their occupations." Paragraph 5 states that the principles, measures and methods of vocational training generally applied in the training of non-disabled persons should apply to disabled persons in so far as medical and educational conditions permit.
The Recommendation concerning Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Disabled Persons) aims to encourage Members to improve vocational rehabilitation and employment assistance for disabled persons. Article 15 and articles 31 to 37 emphasize the important role of employers' and workers' organizations and the community itself in vocational rehabilitation and employment assistance. Article 20 provides that particular efforts should be made to ensure that vocational rehabilitation services are provided for disabled persons in rural areas and remote communities at the same level and on the same terms as those provided for urban areas. Part VII concerns the contribution of disabled persons and their organisations to the development of vocational rehabilitation services. Article 38 outlines suggested measures to be taken to involve disabled persons and their organizations in the development of vocational rehabilitation services.
Rule 19 (3) of The Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities provides states that "States should develop training programmes in consultation with organisations of persons with disabilities, and persons with disabilities should be involved as teachers, instructors or advisers in staff training programmes."
Paragraph 4 (1) of the Recommendation concerning Vocational Guidance and Vocational Training in the Development of Human Resources (ILO Recommendation No. 150) provides that "Members should adopt and develop comprehensive and co-ordinated policies and programmes of vocational guidance and vocational training, closely linked with employment, in particular through public employment services." Paragraph 5 (1) provides that Member States should establish and develop open, flexible and complementary systems of general, technical and vocational education, educational and vocational guidance and vocational training, whether these activities take place within the formal education system or outside. Paragraph 5 (2) ensures that all have access to vocational guidance and vocational training. Paragraph 7 (1) provides that Members should aim to provide appropriate programmes for all handicapped and disabled persons. Particular attention is paid to persons with disabilities in Chapter VII: "Whenever they can benefit by it, disabled persons should have access to vocational guidance and vocational training programmes provided for the general population. Otherwise, specially adjusted programmes should be provided."
Article 9, 10 and 15 of the European Social Charter enunciate a right to vocational guidance and training. Article 9 provides that States should "…provide or promote, as necessary, a service which will assist all persons, including the handicapped, to solve problems related to occupational choice and progress, with due regard to the individual's characteristics and their relation to occupational opportunity…". This assistance should be available free of charge, both to young persons, including school children, and to adults. Article 10 states: "… the Contracting Parties undertake: (…) To provide or promote, as necessary, the technical and vocational training of all persons, including the handicapped, in consultation with employers' and workers' organizations, and to grant facilities for access to higher technical and university education, based solely on individual aptitude." Article 15 outlines the right of persons with physical or mental disabilities to vocational training, rehabilitation and social resettlement.
Fair employment policies must include the recruitment of persons with disabilities. The recruitment of persons with disabilities necessitates the possibility for persons with disabilities to work at a level corresponding to their abilities, and attention to their (re) integration in to the workforce. This should involve measures to ensure access to employment by direct recruitment, and to ensure higher numbers of workers with disabilities in the free labour market.
For recruitment policies to be fair for persons with disabilities, they must also positively encourage their employment. In fact, affirmative action policies are necessary measures in order to ensure equal opportunities for disabled persons to compete on an equal basis with non-disabled persons.
The definition of discrimination in article 1 of the Convention concerning Discrimination in Respect of Employment and Occupation (ILO Convention No. 111) does not specifically include a distinction based on the disability of a person. However, under article 1 (2), the term discrimination includes "…such other distinction, exclusion or preference which has the effect of nullifying or impairing equality of opportunity or treatment in employment or occupation as may be determined by the Member concerned after consultation with representative employers' and workers' organizations…" Thus, discrimination on the ground of disability can be within the provisions of the Convention, if so determined by the Member.
Article 5 of the Convention emphasizes the taking of special measures for the protection of disabled persons in employment: "Any member may after consultation with representative employers' and workers' organizations, where such exist, determine that other special measures designed to meet the particular requirements of persons who, for reasons such as (…) disablement (…), are generally recognized to require special protection or assistance, shall not be deemed to be discrimination."
The Convention Concerning Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Disabled Persons) (ILO Convention No. 159) outlines the rights of persons with disabilities to appropriate training and employment, not only in specialized institutions and workshops, but alongside non-disabled people in mainstream training centers and in open labour markets (article 3). The Convention stipulates that employers' and workers' organizations, together with Governments and organizations of disabled persons share responsibility for helping disabled persons to realise their rights. Article 7 states: "The competent authorities shall take measures with a view to providing and evaluating other related services to enable disabled persons to secure, retain and advance in employment…" Article 4 clarifies that positive action undertaken to equalize opportunities for disabled workers cannot be regarded as discrimination against non-disabled workers. Articles 2 and 5 provide that organizations of employers and workers shall be consulted on the implementation of national policies on vocational rehabilitation and employment of disabled persons. Article 8 states that measures shall be taken to promote the establishment and development of vocational rehabilitation and employment services for disabled persons in rural areas and remote communities.
The Convention Concerning Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Disabled Persons) contains a description of recruitment policies.
Also, the Recommendation concerning Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Disabled Persons) describes a duty for States to support full access to the open labour market through recruitment policies (paragraph 11 (a)). It also recognizes that this is not always possible and includes: "Appropriate government support for the establishment of various types of sheltered employment for disabled persons for whom access to open employment is not practicable" (paragraph 11 (b)).
Article 15 (2) of the European Social Charter provides that State Parties must provide "…adequate measures for the placing of disabled persons in employment, such as specialised placing service, facilities for sheltered employment and measures to encourage employers to admit disabled persons to employment."
The Recommendation concerning Vocational Rehabilitation of the Disabled outlines various methods of widening employment opportunities and sheltered employment for persons with disabilities. Paragraph 28 states that "…measures should be taken, in close co-operation with employers' and workers' organisations, to promote maximum opportunities for disabled persons to secure and retain suitable employment." Paragraph 29 states that measures should be based on the following principles: "Disabled persons should be afforded an equal opportunity with the non-disabled to perform work for which they are qualified; disabled persons should have the full opportunity to accept suitable work with employers of their own choice; and emphasis should be placed on the abilities and work capacities of disabled persons and not of their disabilities." Paragraph 30 specifies that the measures to be taken include research designed to analyse and demonstrate the working capacity of disabled persons and widespread and sustained publicity. Paragraphs 32 and 35 deal especially with sheltered employment.
Paragraph 35 of the Tallinn Guidelines for Action on Human Resources Development in the Field of Disability states that the opportunities of employment "…can be promoted, primarily, by measures relating to employment and salary standards that apply to all workers and secondarily by measures offering special support and incentives. In addition to formal employment, opportunities should be broadened to include self-employment, co-operatives and other group income-generating schemes." The paragraph continues: " Where special national employment drives have been launched for youth and unemployed persons, disabled persons should be included. Disabled persons should be actively recruited, and when a disabled candidate and non-disabled candidate are equally qualified, the disabled candidate should be chosen."
The World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons states in paragraph 128 how Member States should "…adopt a policy and supporting structure of services to ensure that disabled persons in both urban and rural areas have equal opportunities for productive and gainful employment in the open labour market." Paragraph 129 consists of proposed methods in which States can support the integration of disabled persons into open employment. Paragraph 131 concerns co-operation at the central and local level between Government and employers' and workers' organisations "in order to develop a joint strategy and joint action with a view to ensuring more and better employment opportunities for disabled persons." And "…[w]hen acting as employers, central and local Government should promote employment of disabled persons in the public sector. Laws and regulations should not raise obstacles to the employment of disabled persons" (paragraph 133).
The Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities ask States and other organisations to support the aim of ensuring such recruitment policies. Paragraph 7(2) provides that States should actively support the integration of persons with disabilities into open employment and lists ways in which States could fulfil this aim. Rule 7 (6) proclaims: "States, workers' organisations and employers should co-operate to ensure equitable recruitment and promotion policies..." Rule 7 (7) summarizes: " The aims should always be for persons with disabilities to obtain employment, small units of sheltered or supported employment may be an alternative. It is important that the quality of such programmes be assessed in terms of their relevance and sufficiency…" Rule 7 (8) adds that "…measures should be taken to include persons with disabilities in training and employment programmes in the private and informal sectors."
To realise equitable rights for persons with disabilities, especially in the area of work, it is necessary to enforce international norms dealing with equitable employment conditions and fair wages. Equitable employment conditions include special measures to ensure that persons with disabilities can perform their work effectively and safely in appropriate conditions.
Paragraph 7 of the Recommendation concerning Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Disabled Persons) provides that "…disabled persons should enjoy equality of opportunity and treatment in respect of access to, retention of and advancement in employment…". Paragraph 10 proclaims that "…measures should be taken to promote employment opportunities for disabled persons, which conform to the employment and salary standards applicable to workers generally." Paragraph 11 provides a wide range of possible measures, which should be adopted.
The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, states in article 7 that States recognise the right of everyone to the enjoyment of just and favourable work conditions. This includes four main components: remuneration; safe and healthy working conditions; equal opportunity to be promoted to an appropriate higher level; rest, leisure and reasonable limitation of working hours, as well as periodic holidays with pay and remuneration for public holidays.
Protection of conditions of work is also provided by the European Social Charter in articles 2 and 3, and in the Protocol of San Salvador, article 7.
The Recommendation Concerning Vocational Rehabilitation of the Disabled states in Paragraph 25 that disabled persons should not be discriminated against in respect of wages and other conditions of employment if their work is equal to that of non-disabled persons.
The Standard Rules for the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities provide in Rule 7 several different measures, which should be adopted to realise and ensure fair and equitable employment conditions. Rule 7(3) provides that States' action programmes should include, "Measures to design and adapt workplace and work premises in such a way that they become accessible to persons with different disabilities; support for the use of new technologies and the development and production of assistant devices, tools and equipment for persons with disabilities to enable them to gain and maintain employment; and provisions of appropriate training and placement and ongoing support such as personal assistance and interpreter services."
The World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons links recruitment policies with "measures to improve the work environment" (paragraph 131). It also describes in several paragraphs measures which should be adopted to ensure work protection and avoid work-related injury / illnesses. Paragraph 95 of the Programme states that "…the technology to prevent and control most disablement is available and improving but is not always fully utilised. Member States should take appropriate measures for the prevention of impairment and disability and ensure the dissemination of relevant knowledge and technology."
The report Disability prevention and rehabilitation (Outcome of the WHO Expert Committee on Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation, WHO, Geneva 1981) gives an overview of rehabilitation services, rehabilitation technology and the problems which are combined with such a task, e.g. organisation, manpower or administrative problems.
Persons with disabilities are often excluded from mainstream education. As basic education is essential for employment in many spheres and a prerequisite to economic independence, the right to education is of particular importance for disabled persons. Education is also an important part of the rehabilitation process, as persons with disabilities develop their capacities to become more independent and integrated into mainstream society.
The most important step for the integration persons with disabilities into mainstream life is through education. A legal provision stating the right for everyone to receive education has little significance if no positive measures are taken to ensure that children, youth and adults with different types and levels of disabilities have access to quality education at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels. It is important that no obstacles - legal, physical or psychological - should exist to hinder the access of disabled persons to education, that special education be provided when necessary, and that education should as far as possible be given in integrated settings. It is necessary to consider the special educational needs of disabled persons and the socio-political realities of each country.
It is also important to point out the importance of education not only as part of rehabilitation, but also as part of prevention. A high percentage of disability is the direct result of lack of information, poverty and low health standards, and can therefore be prevented by means of adequate education.
Access to education is the most fundamental aspect of the right to education. It is therefore important to ensure that all legal and technical obstacles to it are removed and that positive measures are taken to facilitate access for all persons with disabilities. Several international instruments call for equal access to education for disabled persons. General statements can be found in the Convention against Discrimination in Education (article 1), in The Salamanca Statement (paragraph 2), in the Sundberg Declaration (article 1) and in The Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action in Commitment 6. The purpose of this commitment to universal access to education is to eradicate poverty, promote full and productive employment and foster social integration.
The Convention Against Discrimination in Education confers a whole range of duties on States in order to eliminate and prevent discrimination in education. Although the notion of disability is not explicitly mentioned in Article 1 as one of the criteria according to which distinction is prohibited, disability can be taken as one factor determining the social origin of a particular person, and distinction based on social origin is expressly prohibited by Article 1. Article 3 obliges States Parties to eliminate and prevent discrimination in education. Article 4 requires that States Parties promote equality of opportunities in education.
Some international instruments provide more specific guidelines and areas of concern in relation to access to education. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (article 26) calls for free and compulsory education "…at least in the elementary and fundamental stages…" and article 13 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights adds that "…secondary education in its different forms, including technical and vocational secondary education, shall be made generally available and accessible to all by every appropriate means, and in particular by progressive introduction of free education." The Convention on the Rights of the Child (article 23) also stresses the need to provide services "…free of charge, whenever possible, and taking into account the financial resources of the parents or others caring for the child." Article 13 of the Additional Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights in the Area of Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights confers a general right to education including free and compulsory primary education; Article 13 (3) (e) requires States Parties to provide for programmes of special education as adapted to the special needs of persons with disabilities. Article 17 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights confers that every individual shall have the right to education.
Rule 6 of The Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities emphasizes that States should give special attention to certain vulnerable groups of persons with disabilities such as very young children, girls, women and persons with the most serious disabilities.
Article 3 (1) of the World Declaration on Education for all - Meeting Basic Learning Needs outlines the principle that basic education should be provided to all children, youth and adults. In particular, article 3 (5) provides that the learning needs of the disabled demand special attention and that steps need to be taken to provide equal access to education to every category of disabled persons as an integral part of the education system.
Special attention to different groups of persons with disabilities implies that equal opportunities should be made available to them at all levels of education: pre-school, primary and secondary schools, university and adult education programmes. This is one of the concerns expressed by the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons. The World Programme of Action also calls for special attention to persons with disabilities in rural areas and draws attention to problems caused by traveling distances.
The right to education relating to children is emphasized by the International Conference on Children's Rights in Education (Convened by the Danish Ministry of Education, Copenhagen (Denmark) 26-30 April 1998), which was based on the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Herein the conference elaborated the following issues especially concerning disabled children:
The Sundberg Declaration is concerned with the education of persons with disabilities Article 1 provides: "Every disabled person must be able to exercise his fundamental right to have full access to education, training, culture and information." Article 2 provides that Governments and national and international organizations must take effective action to ensure the fullest possible participation by disabled persons. Article 5 provides that persons with disabilities shall have access to educational programmes adapted to their special needs. Pursuant to article 11, disabled persons must be provided with the facilities and equipment necessary for their education and training.
The quality of education should be equal to that of persons without disabilities and should meet the special needs persons with disabilities. Similarly, the quality of education should be the same irrespective of gender, age or degree of disability.
International instruments stress the need to guarantee high standards for education of all: The Universal Declaration on Human Rights (article 26 (2)) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (article 13 (1)) state that "Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality." In the same spirit, the Sundberg Declaration states that education has to promote the self-fulfillment of all disabled persons and their full participation in social life. The Convention on the Rights of the Child (article 23) provides that "…the disabled child has effective access and receives education (…) in a manner conducive to the child's fullest possible social integration and individual development, including his or her cultural and spiritual development." Article 6 of the Convention Against Discrimination in Education lays down the purposes of education, which include the full development of the human personality and the strengthening of respect for human rights and the promotion of understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations.
The Salamanca Statement asks Governments to "…give the highest policy and budgetary priority to improve their education systems..." (point 3). The content of education should be geared to high standards and the needs of individuals with a view to enabling them to participate fully in development.
The Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities (Rule 6) states that "…[t]he quality of such education should reflect the same standards as general education and should be closely linked to it."
World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons, Paragraph 122, states that educational services for disabled children and adults should be comprehensive, individualized - leading to specific curriculum goals that are regularly reviewed and revised - and offering a range of choice commensurate with the range of special needs in any given community.
Paragraph 2 of the Declaration on the Rights of Mentally Retarded Persons confers the right of mentally retarded persons to receive such education as will enable them to develop their ability and maximum potential.
Paragraph 6 of the Declaration on the Rights of Disabled Persons states that disabled persons have the right to education, which will enabled them to develop their capabilities and skills to the maximum and will hasten the processes of their social integration or reintegration.
The Tallinn Guidelines for Action on Human Resources Development in the Field of Disability, in paragraphs 27 and 28 provide that the content and quality of education should be such as to prepare the disabled student for independent living as well as for the transition into the economic mainstream.
Integrated education means that persons with disabilities have the right to be educated in the same schools and follow the same curriculum as non-disabled students. Integrated education can include special education if that education is given in special classes in regular schools or in the form of support teaching in regular classes and resource rooms. Integrated education is the key to equal educational opportunities for persons with disabilities. It maximizes disabled persons opportunities for participation in society and facilitates the transition from school to work.
Many international instruments focus on the integrating function of education: according to the Sundberg Declaration (article 6), "Education, training, culture and information programmes must be aimed at integrating disabled persons into the ordinary working and living environment." The Convention on the Rights of the Child also supports the inclusion of disabled children in mainstream educational and social environments.
The World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons (paragraph 120) calls for States to adopt policies "…which recognize the rights of disabled persons to equal educational opportunities with others." More explicitly, it states that "…the education of disabled persons should as far as possible take place in the general school system."
The Salamanca Statement on special needs education calls for inclusion to be the norm in the education of all disabled children. According to the Statement and the Framework of Action, all children, regardless of their physical, intellectual, social, emotional or other conditions should be accommodated in ordinary schools. The framework of action adds that "…regular schools with this inclusive orientation are the most effective means of combating discriminatory attitudes, creating welcoming communities, building an inclusive society and achieving education for all. Moreover, they provide an effective education to the majority of children and improve the efficiency and ultimately the cost-effectiveness of the entire education system."
The Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities also support inclusive education. Rule 6 provides that "States should recognize the principle of equal primary, secondary and tertiary educational opportunities for children, youth and adults with disabilities, in integrated settings. The rule also recognizes that the education of persons with disabilities is an integral part of the educational system." This implies that "…general educational authorities are responsible for the education for persons with disabilities in integrated settings…" and that "…education for persons with disabilities should form an integral part of national education planning, curriculum development and school organisation."
The United Nations Children's Fund has estimated that 90 percent of disabled children can join regular education programmes if a limited number of prerequisites are complied with. Regular schools are expected to educate all children with a slight disability who require little support, but it is preferable if all disabled children can get access to the general school system. This of course requires special measures in order to meet the needs of disabled students.
First of all, as pointed out in The Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities (rule 6), it is necessary that States should have a clear policy understood and accepted at the school level and by the wider community. These policies and financial arrangements should encourage and facilitate the development of inclusive schools, and the removal of barriers that impede movement from special to regular schools. Educational policies should take full account of individual differences and situations and special attention should be given to the needs of children and youth with severe or multiple disabilities.
Second, according to The Salamanca Statement and its Framework of Action, it is necessary to make changes at the level of school management. Local administrators and heads of schools should be given the necessary authority and adequate training to play a major role. They should be invited to develop more flexible management procedures, to re-deploy instructional resources, to diversify learning options, to mobilize child-to-child help, to offer support to pupils experiencing difficulties and to develop close relations with parents and community. School heads should have the primary responsibility for promoting positive attitudes throughout the school community and arranging for effective co-operation and teamwork between teachers and support staff.
International instruments also stress the need for curriculum flexibility, addition and adaptation. Curricula should be adapted to children's needs following the principle that all children should be provided with the same education adapted to suit different individual needs.
Support services are needed to enable disabled children to receive the same education as non-disabled children in mainstream schools. Facilities and equipment necessary to meet the needs of disabled pupils are described in international instruments. The Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities mention the provision of interpreter services. The Salamanca Statement and its Framework of Action indicate the need for special materials and support teachers. There should be support programmes within the school and, where necessary, provision of assistance from specialist teachers and external support staff. Appropriate and affordable technology should be used when necessary to enhance success in the school curriculum and to aid communication, mobility and learning. To facilitate the provision of support services, training institutions and special schools can be useful. They can provide access to specific resources that are not provided in regular classrooms. The Sundberg Declaration (article 11), concerned by the accessibility to the necessary equipment, points out the importance to enable developing countries manufacture such equipment.
Not all persons with disabilities can follow education in mainstream schools, and need, therefore, a special form of education. This special education can be provided for in boarding special schools or day special schools and divided in different categories according to the specific needs of disabled persons with different impairments. Special education should receive at least the same level of educational resources as education for students without disabilities, and a common administrative structure should be organized.
The purpose of special education is to allow "…all persons with handicaps, especially those with communication problems…" to have access to educational programmes adapted to their specific needs "…so as to put the maximum of their capacity at the service of the society" (article 5 of the Sundberg Declaration). However, special education should only be directed to students with severe or multiple disabilities, and should be aimed at preparing them for education in the general school system by integrating special education services into mainstream education (rule 6 (8) of The Standard Rules of Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities).
According to The Standard Rules of Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities, Rule 6 (9) states that special education might be adequate especially for the deaf and / or blind people because of their special communication needs. This education could be provided in special schools, or special classes in regular schools. In any case, special education should not prevent them from following the general school curriculum, although it is important that at an early stage attention should be given on instruction "…that will result in effective communication skills."
Paragraph of the United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty guarantees that every juvenile of compulsory school age has the right to education suited to his or her needs and abilities and designed to prepare him or her for return to society. Juveniles who are illiterate or have cognitive or learning difficulties should have the right to special education.
Teacher training is especially necessary to enable disabled children and youth to fully enjoy the advantages of the mainstream educational system. The Salamanca Statement asks Governments to ensure that teacher education programmes address the provision of special needs education in inclusive schools. The Sundberg Declaration (article 9) states that educators and other professionals responsible for educational programmes must be qualified to deal with the specific situations and needs of disabled persons. "Their training must, consequently, take account of this requirement and be regularly brought up to date." Expressing the same concern, The Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities (Rule 6 (6) (c)) call States to provide ongoing teacher training and support teachers to ensure that the education of persons with disabilities is an integral part of the educational system.
Also, the Tallinn Guidelines for Action on Human Resources Development in the Field of Disability in paragraph 29 states that general teacher-training curricula should include a course of study in skills for teaching disabled children and young persons in regular schools. Paragraph 30 requires Governments to develop national plans for training and employing an adequate number of personnel including persons with disabilities.
Pre-service and in-service training programmes should provide all students and teachers an orientation on disability. The knowledge and skills required include: assessing special need; adapting curriculum content; utilising assistant technology; individualising teaching procedures, etc., always keeping in mind that the priority is to meet pupils' needs. Specialised training in special needs education should encompass all types of disabilities, prior to further specialisation in one ore more disability-specific areas.
Universities have a major role to play as regards research, evaluation, preparation of teacher trainers, and designing training programmes and materials. Written materials should be prepared and seminars organised for local administrators, supervisors, head teachers and senior teachers to develop their capacity to provide leadership in this area and to support and train less-experienced teaching staff. Co-operation should also be established between teachers, specialists and parents. Disabled persons should be involved in research and training roles. It is also important that education systems recruit education personnel who have disabilities to provide students with disabilities with examples of disability empowerment.
Laws are also needed to assure equal access for persons with disabilities to vocational training. The transition from school to work is most successful when it is already incorporated in the education programme. In that sense, the right to education can be seen as a corollary to the right to employment.
The norms and standards on vocational training in relation to the employment of persons with disabilities are included above: 2.1.2 Right to Develop Work Skills. Specific instruments in this area are the Convention Concerning Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Disabled Persons), the Recommendation concerning Vocational Guidance and Vocational Training in the Development of Human Resources.
Legislation should be aimed at ensuring the effective exercise of the right to health, without any discrimination. All persons should have security in health matters, and the availability of necessary help without financial barriers.
Governments within their national health care system should give priority and address the special needs of the disabled. Responsibility must be recognized at all levels of policy-making so that priorities in overall national development take into account the need and strengthen those aspects of life that are a prerequisite to health. Before launching or reforming their national health care system Governments should determine what types of health care financing to utilize in order to increase the resources allocated to health.
There should be public and private financing. The national health care system should encourage the participation of public agencies and private and non-governmental organizations involved in the sector in planning and monitoring its execution and access.
A primary health care system should provide a wide-range of curative, rehabilitative and other support services to meet the basic health needs of the population and give special attention to vulnerable groups such as the disabled.
Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that each person has "…the right to security in the event of (...) sickness…". Article 10 (f) of the Additional Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights in the Field of Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights urges States to satisfy the health needs of the highest risk groups and of those whose poverty makes them the most vulnerable.
Article 18 (4) of the African Charter on Human and People's Rights states that the disabled should have the right to special measures of protection in keeping with their physical needs.
Article 13 of the European Social Charter urges States to ensure that any person who is without adequate resources and who is unable to secure such resources be granted adequate assistance and the care necessary in the case of sickness.
Article 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights recognizes the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, and that provides for States' obligation to create conditions which will assure to all medical service and attention in the event of sickness.
Article 23 (3) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child states that whenever possible, the disabled child should be provided health care services free of charge.
Article 7 of the Convention concerning Employment Promotion and Protection against Unemployment urges States to secure persons the provision of benefit in respect of a condition requiring medical care of a preventive or curative nature. According to Article 10 the benefit shall include at least: (a) general practitioner care:
Article 13 urges States to secure persons the provision of sickness benefit. According to Article 16 sickness benefits shall be a periodical payment.
Article 5 (4) (g) of the Convention concerning Employment Promotion and Protection against Unemployment encourages States to ensure the provision of medical care to persons in receipt of unemployment benefit and their dependants. Article 23 notes that a State whose legislation provides for the right to medical care and makes it directly or indirectly conditional upon occupational activity shall endeavour to ensure, under prescribed conditions, the provision of medical care to persons in receipt of unemployment benefit and to their dependants.
Article 7 of the Convention concerning Medical Care and Sickness Benefits states that the contingencies covered by the Convention should include:
Article 8 states that medical care shall comprise at least:
Article 18 states that sickness benefits are in periodical benefits. Sickness means any morbid condition, whatever its cause. Article 22 and 23 set forth that a periodical payment shall be such as to attain at least 60 percent of the total previous earnings of the beneficiary or 60 percent of the total wages of an ordinary adult male labourer. Article 29 states that the claimant shall have the right of appeal in the case of refusal of benefit or complaint as to its quality or quantity.
Paragraph I of the Declaration of Alma-Ata provides that health, which is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, is a fundamental human right. Paragraph II refers to the existing "…gross inequality in the health status…" of persons both between developed and developing countries and within developed countries. Article V states that Governments are responsible for the health of their people which can be attained by the provision of adequate health and social measures. The main social target is the attainment of all peoples a level of health that will permit them to lead a socially and economically productive life. Article VII (6) states that those in need should have priority in health care and article VIII urges Governments to formulate national policies, strategies and plans of action to launch and sustain primary health care as part of a comprehensive national health system and in co-ordination with other sectors. The Declaration is important for disabled persons as the promotion of primary health care will result in the prevention of disabilities and the improvement of rehabilitative services for disabled persons.
Article 10 (d) of the Declaration on Social Progress and Development states that social progress and development should aim at the achievement of the highest standards of health and the provision of health protection for the entire population. In addition, article 19 notes that free health services, adequate preventive and curative facilities, and welfare medical services are the means to achieve the above goals.
Paragraph 118 of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons encourages the establishment and development of a public system of social care and health protection. Paragraph 96 urges States to co-ordinate programmes for prevention of disability which include community-based primary health care systems that reach all segments of the population, and for public health activities that will assist people in attaining lifestyles that will provide the maximum defense against the causes of impairment.
The social security system of a State is the primary vehicle in administering economic benefits. Social insurance programs such as worker's compensation, disability insurance, and unemployment insurance are intended to provide a social safety net for the disabled who are unable to meet their needs. Public funding should be available to cover the extra cost for specially designed housing, transport, medical and health care, food and other amenities to live a normal life of work and recreation, for the disabled.
Social security and insurance systems should not discriminate against persons with disabilities, but instead provide services dealing with the special needs of persons with disabilities, especially in the labour market in order to encourage a policy of equitable employment.
Article 9 (1) of the Additional Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights in the Area of Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights confers that "…everyone shall have the right to social security protecting him from the consequences (…) of disability, which prevents him, physically or mentally, from securing the means for a dignified and decent existence".
Article 9 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Right states that everyone has a right to social security, including social insurance.
Article 26 (1) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child recognizes a child's right to social insurance.
Chapter II, General principles, paragraph 1, of The Vancouver Declaration on Human Settlements states that the improvement of the quality of the life of humans begins with the satisfaction of the basic needs, which includes social security without discrimination.
Paragraph 118 of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons states that where social security exists for the general population, it should not exclude or discriminate against disabled persons. The same statement is included in Rule 8 (2) of The Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities.
Article 6 of the Convention concerning Employment Promotion and Protection against Unemployment urges States to ensure the equality of treatment for all persons in the disbursement of social security benefits, without discrimination on the basis of disability. The preceding should not prevent the adoption of special measures to meet the specific needs of categories of persons who have particular problems in the labour market, in particular disadvantaged groups.
Paragraph 29, Commitment 2 (d) of The Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action recommends the implementation of policies to ensure that all people have adequate economic and social protection during disability.
Paragraph 23 of the Recommendation concerning Vocational Rehabilitation of the Disabled states that "…disabled persons should be enabled to make use of all rehabilitation services without losing any social security benefits which are unrelated to their participation in these services."
Paragraph 7 of the Declaration on the Rights of Disabled Persons states that disabled persons have the right to economic and social security.
There should be a strong commitment to enact legislation that equalizes employment opportunities for persons with disabilities. Enacting legislation that provides employment opportunities will in the long term be more cost effective because persons with disabilities would over time become self-sufficient. Provisions on income-restoration for persons with disabilities are included in Rule 8 of The Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities, which provides that "States are responsible for the provision of social security and income maintenance for persons with disabilities." Rule 8(4) states that "…social security systems should include incentives to restore the income-earning capacity of persons with disabilities." In addition, Rule 8 (5) notes that "…social security programmes should also provide incentives for persons with disabilities to seek employment in order to establish or re-establish their income-earning capacity."
States should encourage the implementation of measures and programmes that ensure that these persons' entitlements are equal to others. Such measures should include worker's compensation, disability insurance, and unemployment insurance.
It is important to ensure that social systems provide employment assistance and economic support to those who are involuntarily unemployed. Unemployment is rampant among persons with disabilities. Unemployment insurance will help disabled persons find employment through special programmes geared to their particular problem, while providing economic support during the interim period.
Other special measures that are designed to meet the specific needs of persons with disabilities who have a particular problem entering the labour market could include the following:
When injury or harm is caused by occupational accidents or disease, compensation is generally covered by, 1) private insurance, 2) Social insurance and 3) Civil liability or tort law.
Persons with disabilities should be able to get compensation by using either one or all three of these avenues. However, worker's compensation is the easiest and most inexpensive avenue for disabled workers to utilize. In enacting legislation, several issues have to be addressed, such as how to determine contribution to the worker's compensation funds and how the benefits will be distributed.
Disability insurance ensures economic and social protection during disability. Legislators must determine what type of benefits are to be covered, i.e. medical treatment, rehabilitation, and restoration of earning capacity.
Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights confers that each person has the right to security in the event circumstances beyond one's control affect one's livelihood. Article XVI of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man proclaims the right of every person to enjoy the protection of the State.
Article 19 of the Additional Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights in the Field of Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights states that employees' right to social security should cover at least medical care and an allowance or retirement benefit in the case of work accidents or occupational disease.
Article 11 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women urges States to take appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in the field of employment. Article 11 (1) (e) states that such measures are taken in order to ensure the right to social security in cases where there is an incapacity to work.
Article 31 of the Convention concerning Minimum Standards of Social Security urges States to secure to employees workmen's compensation. According to Article 34, the benefits should include general and specialist practitioner care, nursing care, medical and pharmaceutical supplies, and hospitalization. Article 35 provides that Governments administering medical care shall co-operate with the general vocational rehabilitation services, with a view to the re-establishment of handicapped persons in suitable work.
Article 4 of the Convention Concerning Benefits in the Case of Employment Injury states that national legislation concerning employment injury benefits shall protect all employees in the public and private sectors. Article 6 sets forth the contingencies covered due to an employment injury:
Articles 7 and 8 urge States to define industrial accident and prescribe a list of diseases to be regarded as occupational diseases in their legislation. Article 9 provides that States shall secure to the persons protected the provision of the following benefits:
Article 9 also states that eligibility for benefits may not be made subject to the length of employment, to the duration of insurance or to the payment of contributions and that benefits be granted throughout the contingency.
Articles 13 and 14 state that cash benefits or periodical payments will be made in respect of temporary loss of earning capacity or initial loss of earning likely to be permanent.
Article 16 states that increments in periodical payments or other supplementary or special benefits shall be provided for disabled persons requiring the constant help or attendance of another person.
Articles 19 and 20 state that in the case of a periodical payment, the rate of the benefit shall be as such as to attain, in respect of the contingency in question, for the standard beneficiary, at least the percentage indicated therein of the total of the previous earnings of the beneficiary, or at least the percentage indicated therein of the total wage of an ordinary adult male labourer. Article 23 (1) states that every claimant shall have a right of appeal in the case of refusal of the benefit or complaint as to its quality or quantity.
The Convention Concerning Employment Promotion and Protection against Unemployment recognizes the importance of ensuring that social security systems provide employment assistance and economic support to those who are involuntarily unemployed. Article 2 urges States to take steps to co-ordinate its system of protection against unemployment and its employment policy. The policy shall seek to ensure that its system of protection against unemployment, and in particular the methods of providing unemployment benefit, contribute to the promotion of full, productive and freely chosen employment, and are not such as to discourage employers from offering and workers from seeking productive employment.
Article 7 encourages States to declare as a priority objective a policy designed to promote full, productive and freely chosen employment by all appropriate means, including social security. Such means should include employment services, vocational training and vocational guidance. Article 8 adds that States should establish special programmes to promote additional job opportunities and employment assistance and to encourage freely chosen and productive employment for disadvantaged persons having or liable to have difficulties in finding lasting employment such as disabled persons.
Article 24 sets forth that when a State provides unemployment benefits that the periods which benefits are paid should in its calculation take into account disability. Article 27 provides that in the event of refusal, withdrawal, suspension or reduction of benefit or dispute as to its amount, claimants shall have the right to present a complaint to the body administering the benefit scheme and to appeal thereafter to an independent body. The appeal procedure shall enable the claimant to be represented or assisted by a qualified person of the claimant's choice or by a delegate of representative workers' organization or by a delegate of an organization representative of protected persons.
Article 21(b) of the Recommendation concerning Vocational Rehabilitation of the Disabled sets forth that financial assistance is an appropriate measure to be taken to enable disabled persons to make full use of all vocational rehabilitation services. Furthermore, paragraph 22.1 states that financial assistance be provided in order to facilitate the preparation for and retention of suitable employment.
Article 11(a) of the Declaration on Social Progress and Development states that social progress and development should aim for the implementation of insurance schemes for all persons who, because of illness, disability, or old age, are temporarily or permanently unable to earn a living.
Rule 8 (1) of The Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities provides that states that income support should be extended to individuals who take care of a person with a disability, and that income support should only be reduced or terminated when persons with disabilities achieve an adequate and secure income.
Paragraph 131 of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons encourages co-operation at the central and local level between government and employers' and workers' organisations in order to develop measures for rehabilitating employees impaired in the job.
It is important that social services be organized for persons with disabilities at the community and governmental levels. The government has the main responsibility for providing social services, but it can also encourage communities to do so, especially through financial assistance.
Strengthen communities' own programmes for persons with disabilities should be a national priority, as working through the community helps to integrate persons with disabilities into society and the community to understand and learn about the plight of persons with disabilities. It is important to enlist the active participation of local government and community organisations, such as citizen's groups, trade unions, women's organizations, consumer organizations, religious bodies, political parties and parents' associations in the recognition and enforcement of rights of persons with disabilities.
Paragraph 17 of the Recommendation concerning Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment urges community leaders and groups to co-operate with government authorities in identifying the needs of the disabled in the community and ensuring that, wherever possible disabled persons are included in activities and services available generally. According to paragraph 18, "…vocational rehabilitation and employment services for the disabled should be integrated into mainstream of community development and where appropriate receive financial (…) support."
Sections of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons deal with community action. States are encouraged to provide financial assistance to local communities for the development of programs that help persons with disabilities, and to encourage co-operation among local communities in order to facilitate the exchange of information. The paragraphs note that it is important to enlist the active participation of community organisations.
Paragraph 41 of the Tallinn Guidelines for Action on Human Resource Development states that specific strategies for the prevention of disability should be included in community awareness programmes. Also, Government efforts aimed at early identification, intervention and prevention should be strengthened through community awareness and community involvement programmes on disability.
Governmental services are necessary in addition to ones organised by the community. Governments should provide services that will reduce the disabling effects of physical impairments and help persons with disabilities function to the best of their abilities. Governments must recognise the essential role of local authorities in providing services and empowering people to secure economic development and social welfare for their communities, and the role of international co-operation among local authorities. Governments should introduce adequate measures to realise equal opportunity policies and the prevention of disabling conditions.
The right to an adequate standard of living is included for example in article 25 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and article 27 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This right includes inter alia the right to food, clothing and housing. It is closely linked to the right to social security and social services.
Adequate shelter is an important component of economic and social rights. Inadequate or lack of shelter contributes to loss of health, security and dignity. Governments should develop policies and guidelines and provide services that would enable persons with disabilities to be housed in appropriate settings.
Article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights recognises that everyone has the right to an adequate standard of living, including housing, and that States should take appropriate steps to ensure the realisation of this right.
Article 27 (3) of the Declaration on Social Progress and Development urges States to provide assistance programmes such as housing to parents and others responsible for a child.
Article 18 (d) recognises the implementation of low-cost housing programmes in rural and urban areas as an appropriate means in trying to achieve the objectives of social progress and development.
General principle I, paragraph 1 of the Recommendation concerning Workers' Housing states that the Recommendation applies to the housing of workers, including handicapped persons.
General Principle II, paragraphs from 1 to 5 urges States to promote, within the framework of general housing policy, the construction of housing and related community facilities with a view to ensuring that adequate and decent housing accommodations and a suitable living environment are made available to all workers and their families. Priority should be given to those whose needs are most urgent; to upkeep, improve and modernise existing housing and related community facilities; to provide adequate and decent housing that does not cost the worker more than a reasonable portion of income, whether by way of rent, or by way of payments towards the purchase of, such accommodation; and, to implement housing programmes that provide adequate scope for private, co-operative and public enterprise in house building.
General principle III, paragraph 8 encourages States to set up a central body with which should be associated all public authorities having some responsibility relating to housing. The body's responsibilities should include, studying and assessing the needs for workers' housing and related community facilities and formulating workers' housing programmes.
General Principle V, paragraphs 13 through 17 discuss financing methods. States are urged to ensure that private and public facilities are made available for loans at moderate rates of interest, and that such facilities be supplemented by other suitable methods of direct and indirect financial assistance. This would include subsidies, tax concessions, and reduction of assessments, to appropriate private, co-operative and public owners of housing, to encourage co-operative and similar non-profit housing societies. States are also urged to: ensure that public and private facilities for loans on reasonable terms are made available to workers who wish to own or build their dwellings, and they should take such other steps as would facilitate home ownership; to establish national mortgage insurance systems or public guarantees of private mortgages as a means of promoting the building of workers' housing; and to stimulate saving and encourage investment. Paragraphs 19 through 25 of Suggestions Concerning Methods of Application mention other financing schemes, such as encouraging provident funds and social security institutions to use their reserves available for long-term investment. Further schemes include: providing facilities for loans for workers' housing; rendering special financial assistance to workers who are unable to obtain adequate accommodation by reason of inadequate income; and to protect the worker in the case of loans against the loss of his/her financial equity in his/her house on account of unemployment or other factors beyond his control.
Chapter III paragraph 24 of The Habitat Agenda recognises the obligation of Governments to enable people to obtain shelter and to protect and improve dwellings and neighbourhoods.
Paragraph 25 urges States to ensure consistency and co-ordination of macro-economic and shelter policies, as a social priority within the framework of national development programmes and urban policies; to promote broad, non-discriminatory access to open, efficient, effective and appropriate financing for all people, including mobilising innovative financial and other resources - public and private - for community development; to increase the supply of affordable housing through appropriate regulatory measures and market incentives (P. 44); and to promote shelter and support basic services for persons with disabilities.
Paragraph 30 urges States to strengthen existing financial mechanisms in order to finance shelter and human settlements. Paragraph 31(g) urges States to foster the accessibility of the market for those who are less organised and informed or otherwise excluded from participation by providing subsidies, where appropriate, and promoting credit mechanisms and other instruments to address their needs. Paragraph 44 (vi) urges States to create and promote market-based incentives to encourage the private sector to meet the need for affordable rental and owner-occupied housing. Paragraph 49 (d) encourages States to use public policies such as expenditure, taxation, monetary and planning policies, to stimulate sustainable shelter markets. Paragraph 51 provides that States should adopt policies that ensure that persons with disabilities have access to new public buildings and facilities, and public housing. Furthermore, during renovation of existing buildings, similar measures should be adopted.
Housing finance institutions serve the conventional market, but do not always respond adequately to the different needs of large segments of the population, particularly those belonging to vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, like the disabled. In order to improve existing housing finance systems, paragraph 61 states that Governments should:
Paragraph 68 states that improving the quality and reducing the cost of production, housing and other structures will last longer, be better protected against disasters, and be affordable to low-income populations and accessible to persons with disabilities, which will provide a better living environment.
Paragraph 8 of The Vancouver Declaration on Human Settlements states that "…adequate shelter and services are a basic human right which places an obligation on Governments to ensure their attainment by all people, beginning with direct assistance to the least advantaged through guided programmes of self-help and community action." (Chapter III, Guidelines for Action).
Global Strategy for Shelter to the Year 2000, Annex I, sets forth guidelines Governments can keep in mind when formulating a national shelter strategy. These guidelines are outlined below:
Government legislation should include provisions that increase food production and improve the distribution of food. Governments could increase access to food through primary health care approaches. Hunger is one of the main factors responsible for the rising number of persons with disabilities, and increasing access to food through methods such as subsidies to rural areas to increase production, trade, affordable prices and other measures will help prevent disability.
The attainment of food security involves the eliminating current hunger facing hundreds of millions of people today, and reducing the risks of future hunger. Every effort must be taken to address both the symptoms and causes of hunger.
Food aid is an essential resource for saving and sustaining life. However, direct transfer of food must be followed by actions aimed at post-crisis rehabilitation of affected households and at sustainable livelihoods. Greater attention needs to be paid to the establishment of improved preparedness mechanisms against future disasters and appropriate investments aimed at reducing vulnerability to crisis situations.
Food insufficiencies must be complemented by efforts in areas such as nutrition, health, education, skills training, reproductive health, asset creation and income-generation, i.e. by investing in people. Food aid can provide direct assistance to people who lack purchasing power, and can strengthen markets by building transport infrastructure or enhancing marketing systems through local magnetisation and local food purchases.
Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognizes the right to food.
Article 12 of the Additional Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights in the Field of Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights states that everyone has the right to adequate nutrition, which guarantees the possibility of enjoying the highest level of physical, emotional and intellectual development. In addition, article 12 urges States to improve the distribution of food.
Article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights recognises that everyone has the right to adequate food and to be free from hunger, and that States either individually or with international co-operation, should implement measures to realise this right. The Measures include specific programmes that improve methods of production, conservation and distribution of food by making full use of technical and scientific knowledge, by disseminating knowledge of the principles of nutrition and by developing or reforming agrarian systems in such a way as to achieve the most efficient development and utilisation of natural resources.
Article 27 (3) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child urges States to undertake programmes such as nutrition to assist parents and others responsible for the child.
Article 10 (b) of the Declaration on Social Progress and Development sets forth the elimination of hunger and malnutrition as a goal in social progress and development.
Paragraph 4 of the Universal Declaration on the Eradication of Hunger and Malnutrition sets forth that each State should remove the obstacles to food production and should provide proper incentives to agricultural producers. Effective measures such as agrarian, tax, credit and investment policy reform and the reorganisation of rural structures should be implemented. Furthermore, paragraph 11 urges States to readjust their agricultural policies to give priority to food production.
The World Food Summit of Africa, an outcome of the FAO Regional Conference for Africa in 1996, through its draft Policy Statement calls on all parties to reaffirm their commitment to policies that will ensure the availability and stability of adequate food supplies as well as access to an adequate diet for all. The WFS draft Action Plan stresses the need for each country to choose its own strategy for attaining food security since individual circumstances vary so widely, but nevertheless the following aims have to be reached:
The World Food Summit of Europe, held in 1996 in Tel Aviv, emphasized several goals including the following:
Mobility is one of the most crucial factors in the rehabilitation of disabled persons. It contributes to their life in dignity and to their standard of living. It is linked to general environmental accessibility. There should not be discrimination against the disabled in the provision of public transportation services, and there should be specific measures to enable them to move freely and access the workplace and other public places.
States should enact legislation that ensures the accessibility to transport services for persons with disabilities. These Government initiatives are vital to the integration of disabled persons into mainstream society and to the right to work.
Governments could provide these services in different ways such as: making public transport system accessible; remodelling pedestrian routes in order to make them more accessible to disabled persons, especially those utilising wheelchairs; priority parking for disabled persons; or providing incentives for employers and community organisations to provide transport.
Other measures such as cash subsidies, improvement to existing public transport system, and specially adapted automobiles and the transfer of new technology in transport is also very important in ensuing the integration of persons with disabilities into mainstream society.
Article 18(e) of the Declaration on Social Progress and Development encourages the development and expansion of the system of transportation, particularly in developing countries.
Paragraph 11(h) of the Recommendation concerning Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Disabled Persons) states that disabled persons should be provided an adequate means of transport to and from the places of rehabilitation and work.
Paragraph 104 (a) of The Habitat Agenda states that Governments should support an integrated transport policy approach that explores the full array of technical and management options and pays due attention to the needs of all population groups, especially those whose mobility is constrained because of disability, age, poverty or any other factor.
Paragraph 114 of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons encourages States to make sure that disabled persons have access to all new public transport systems. Furthermore, it is recommended that States adopt measures that encourage access to existing public transport systems.
The overall purpose of disability policy is to promote social integration of disabled persons. Thus, the principle of social integration, with the aim of creating equal opportunities for all, is incorporated in all major instruments related to disability issues.
Paragraph 9 of the Declaration on the Rights of Disabled Persons confers that persons with disabilities have the right to live with their families or with foster parents and to participate in all social activities. Article 23 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child asks States Parties to ensure that disabled children enjoy conditions which facilitate the child's active participation in the community. Under Commitment 4 of The Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action, States commit themselves to promote social integration. And under Commitment 1, States commit themselves to creating accessibility to the social environment for persons with disabilities.
Paragraph 22 and 63 of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action provides that States should ensure the active participation of persons with disabilities in all aspects of society.
The overall aim of The Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities is the social integration of persons with disabilities by creating equal opportunities in all fields of society. The main goal of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons is also to create equal opportunities for persons with disabilities and thus integrate them into society.
The right to participate in cultural activities should apply to all people, including those with disabilities. In reality, however, persons with disabilities are often denied the opportunities of full participation in the activities of the cultural life of the community to which they belong. This deprivation comes about through physical and social barriers that have evolved from ignorance, indifference and fear.
Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights confers a general right to participate in cultural life of the community. A right to participate in cultural life is contained in the Additional Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights in the Area of Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights. Article 14 outlines the right of everyone to take part in the cultural and artistic life of the community. Article 17 (2) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights guarantees a right to every individual to take part in the cultural life of his community.
Article 15 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights recognises the right of everyone to take part in cultural life. This right is violated, for example, when access is not possible to facilities in which cultural activities take place (cinemas, theatres, libraries, sport stadiums, museums, etc), and when disabled persons are excluded on account of prejudices in respect of their ability to participate.
Rule 10 of The Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities provides that States must ensure that persons with disabilities are integrated into and can participate in cultural activities on an equal basis.
The World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons in its paragraph 135 provides that States should commit themselves to ensure that disabled persons have the opportunity to utilise their creative, artistic and intellectual potential to the full, not only for their own benefit but also for the enrichment of the community. To this end, access to cultural activities should de ensured.
The majority of information exchanges and resources that we have encountered are based on the experience of the industrialized countries. As member States adopt initiatives to implement the UN's priority issue of accessibility, as set forth in the Standard Rules among other documents, there is an evident need to expand traditional definitions of accessibility solutions and develop effective and realistic accessibility policy options for developing countries. Based on our research, we believe that a virtual venue must be established to facilitate the exchange information among policy makers, the disabled community and the building industry on accessibility issues to explore the particular requirements of creating barrier free environments in all nations.
Accessibility info description
|SNIP||http://www.snip.com/general/index.html||--||Accessibility||National standards for accessible design||Russia||--|
|Columbian Institute for Standartization and Certificate||http://www.icontec.org.co/preing.html||Does not work||Standards Institute||not know||Columbia||Recognized as National Standartization body for Columbia|
|Pan-American Commission for Technical Standards||http://www.copant.org||--||--||--||--||--|
|International Standards Organization||http://www.iso.ch/iso/en/ISOOnline.openerpage||--||--||--||--||--|
|Andrea System for Standartization||http://www.comunidadandina.org/ingles/trade/technical.htm||--||--||--||- -||--|
|Columbian Technical Standards||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Disabled Peoples' International||http://www.dpi.org/links.html||--||--||--||--||--|
|International Conference of Building Officials||http://www.codes.org||--||Standards Institute||not known||--||--|
|Council of American Building Officials||http://www.cabo.org||--||Institute||not known||>USA||Umbrella organization for BOCA, ICBO and SBCCI|
|Building Officials and Code Administrators International||http://www.bocai.org||--||Institute||not know||USA||US organization dedicated to the development of model building codes (NBC) for central and northeastern US|
|Construction Law Forum||http://www.constrlaw.com||--||--||--||--||Info on legal issues relating to design and construction|
|International Code Council||http://www.intlcode.org||--||Institute||not known||USA||Non-profit organization dedicated to develop single set of national codes in US|
|Southern Building Code Congress Intl||http://www.sbcci.org||--||Institute||not known||USA||Developers of Standard Building Code used throughout the southeast of US|
|DPA Singapore||http://www.dpa.org.sg/DPA/access/95prefac.htm||--||Accessibility||Code on Barrier-free accessibility in building 1995||Singapore||Currently undergoing revisions - contact Prof. Harrison|
|Associacao Brasileira de Normas Tecnicas||http://www.abnt.org.br||--||Standars institute||National standards||Brazil||--|
|Acesso e Eliminacao de Barreiras Arquitetonicas||http://www.mbonline.com.br/cedipod/w61elimsp.htm||--||Accessibility||Municipa legislation - Sao Paulo||Brazil||--|
|Comite MERCOSUL de Normalizacao||http://www.abnt.org.br/mercosul.htm||does not work||Standards Institute||not known||South America||Look into comite setorial mercosul de acessibilidade|
|Uniform Accessibility Standards||http://www.access-board.gov/ufas/ufas-html/ufas.htm||--||--||--||--||--|
|American National Standards Institute||http://www.ansi.org||--||Standards Institute||--||USA||--|
|Center for Universal Design||--||Standards Institute||Universal design||--||--||--|
|National Council for Welfare of Disabled Persons||http://firstname.lastname@example.org||Accessibility||Magna Carta for Disabled Persons (Rep. Act#7277)||Philippines||Received publications on accessibility law|
|National Council for Welfare of Disabled Persons||http://email@example.com - does not work||Accessibility||Accessibility Law (Batasan Pambansa Bilang 344)||Philippines||Includes original and amended implementing rules and regulations|
|National Council for Welfare of Disabled Persons||see above||see above||Disability policy||Agenda for action for Asian and Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons 1993-2002||Philippines||--|
|National Council for Welfare of Disabled Persons||see above||see above||Disability policy||Philippines Handbook on Community-Based Rehabilitation||Philippines||First CBR handbook developed by NCWDP|
|National Council for Welfare of Disabled Persons||see above||see above||Product catalog||Catalogue of Assistive Devices for Persons with orthopedic disabilities||Philippines||Listing of locally available assistive devices|
|National Council of Welfare of Disabled Persons||see above||see above||Handbook||handbook on paper-based technology||Philippines||assistive devices made out of paper products|
|National Council for Welfare of Disabled Persons||see above||see above||Disability policy||Proclamation No. 125||Philippines||Presidential proclamation on national wide observance of Decade of Disabled Persons|
|CIB||http://www.independentliving.org/cib/cibharare5.html||--||Accessibility||Report on CIP Seminar: Accessibility-South Africa||South Africa||--|
|CIB||http://www.independentliving.org/cib/cibharare4.html||--||Accessibility||Report on CIP Seminar: Accessibility-Zambia||Zambia||--|
|Disabled People's Association Singapore||http://www.dpa.org.sg/DPA/access/sia.html||--||Accessibility||SIA/HWA meeting on Barrier-free design||Singapore||--|
|Disabled People's Association Singapore||http://www.dpa.org.sg/DPA/access/sia.html||--||Accessibility||DPA Access Committee Minutes - 8/25/94||Singapore||--|
|Building Owners and Managers Association||http://firstname.lastname@example.org - does not work||Accessibility||Universal Accessibility conference 12-13/6/97||USA; International||Seminar to develop international standards|
|Loken Consultants||http://www3.sk.sympatico.ca/loken/webdoc1.htm||--||Accessibility||Accessibility Legislation in Saskatchewan||Canada||3 doc's control accessibility: NBC, UB and Accessibility Standards Act, and S. Human Rights code and regulations|
|Together Foundation and UNCHS||http://www1001.together.com/html/index2.html||does not work||Case studies||Best Practices Database||International||Case studies = application of accessibility standards in devel countries|
|Iowa State University||http://publis.iastate.edu/usbilling/ada.htm||does not work||Resource||ADA links||USA||Web links, info, resources|
|Building Owners and Managers Association||http://www.boma.org/graccess.htm||--||Accessibility||Accessibility laws, Codes and Standards||USA||--|
|The Center for Universal Design||http://www.design.ncsu.edu/cud||--||Accessibility||US Accessibility Standards and Regulations||USA||Universal Design and US Standards|
|Amazonian Parliament||http://www.webmediaven.com/parlamaz||--||Regional parliament||--||--||Research work on accessibility if any|
|Andean Parliament||http://www.parlamentoandino.org||--||Regional parliament||--||--||Research work on accessibility if any|
|Asia-Pacific Parliament Forum||--||--||Regional parliament||--||--||Research work on accessibility if any|
|Assembly of the Western European Union||http://www.assembly-weu.org/en/accueil.php||--||Regional parliament||--||--||>Research work on accessibility if any|
|Commonwealth Parliament Association||http://www.cpahq.org/expert/barb01.htm||--||Regional parliament||--||--||Research work on accessibility if any|
|European Parliament||http://www.europarl.eu.int/home/defaut_en.htm||--||Regional parliament||--||--||Research work on accessibility if any|
|Parliament Assembly of the French-Speaking World||http://www.francophonie.org/apf||--||Regional parliament||--||--||Research work on accessibility if any|
|Latin American Parliament||http://www.parlatino.org.br/index.php||--||Regional parliament||--||--||Research work on accessibility if any|
|Nordic Council||http://www.norden.org/start/start.asp?lang=6||--||Regional parliament||--||--||Research work on accessibility if any|
|Botswana Council for the Disabled||http://www.wn.apc.org/SAIE/saie29/botcd.htm||--||National||Development sectors & economic||Botswana||Research work on accessibility if any|
|OSCE Parliament Assembly||http://www.osce.org/pa||--||Regional parliament||--||--||Research work on accessibility if any|
|Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe||http://assembly.coe.int||--||Regional parliament||--||--||Research work on accessibility if any|
|Canadian Institute for Barrier-Free Design||http://email@example.com||Accessibility||--||--||--|
Legislation is also required to set standards for building both private and public facilities that take into account the needs of persons with disabilities. Physical barriers are often a hindrance to the full integration of persons with disabilities into public life.
The Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action, Section B 26 (I) provides that States should take efforts to make the physical environment accessible for persons with disabilities. The following themes are emphasized in this declaration:
Moreover, the guide Designing with Care: A guide to Adaptation of the built Environment for Disabled People (United Nations, International year of Disabled Persons (IYDP) 1981) provides technical and architectural guidelines to build in both, private and public areas, with special attention to disabled persons.
Paragraph 11 (g) of the Recommendation concerning Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment states that all barriers and obstacles affecting transport of disabled persons and access to and free movement in premises for their training and employment be eliminated.
Paragraph 17 of The Habitat Agenda states that the one of the goals of the Agenda is to increase the accessibility of persons with disabilities to shelter, thereby improving their quality of life. According to Chapter III paragraph 25 (d), it states that the standards for accessibility must be in accordance with The Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities.
Paragraph 23 of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons states that "…anyone in charge of any kind of enterprise should make it accessible to people with disabilities." This includes public agencies, non-governmental organizations, and private firms and individuals. Paragraph 113 states that States should adopt a policy of observing accessibility aspects in the planning of human settlements, including programmers in the rural areas of developing countries.
The implementation of economic, social and cultural rights requires resources. So does in fact the implementation of civil and political rights, as those rights require, for instance, setting up a functioning judicial system or providing accessible information for persons with disabilities. Article 2 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights provides that each State Party is to undertake "steps, individually and through international assistance and co-operation, especially economic and technical, to the maximum of its available resources, with a view to achieving progressively the full realization of the rights recognized" in the ICESCR.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child also call s for international co-operation in the implementation of specific provisions, such as article 4 concerning the implementation of economic, social and cultural rights, or article 23 concerning the dissemination of information concerning health care, rehabilitation, educational and vocational services for children with disabilities.
At the World Summit on Social Development, it was agreed that the Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development and Programme of Action would be implemented with the help of the 20/20 initiative, by which 20 percent of national budgets and 20 percent of development assistance would be allocated to basic social services.
Co-operation is therefore crucial if progress is to be achieved in all parts of the world. Co-operation should exist at all levels, including:
Bilateral and multilateral donors should set aside adequate resources for the disability component in their financial assistance. Also, donors may tie their aid to disability projects. For example, a donor will send financial assistance if a certain percentage of the aid would be used to satisfy the needs of persons with disabilities.
Donor agencies must establish working relations with disabled persons and/or their organizations. The staff of donor agencies needs to be sensitized about disabled person's concerns. One method would be to organize joint workshops, which would facilitate the implementation of policy guidelines that adequately take into account the concerns of disabled persons.
Paragraph 12 of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action urges the international community to help alleviate the external debt burden of developing countries in order to help developing countries attain the full realization of the economic, social, and cultural rights of their people.
Article 23 (c) of the Declaration on Social Progress and Development states that the achievement of the objectives of social progress and development requires the implementation of the provision of technical, financial and material assistance, both bilateral and multilateral, to the fullest possible extent and on favorable terms, and improved co-ordination of international assistance for the achievement of the social objectives of national development plans.
Paragraph 7 of the Universal Declaration on the Eradication of Hunger and Malnutrition notes that in order to give impetus to food production in developing countries, international action should be taken to provide them with sustained additional technical and financial assistance. In additional, all donor countries should implement the concept of forward planning of food aid and make all efforts to provide commodities and/or financial assistance.
Paragraphs 147 and 148 of The Habitat Agenda state that the international community should support Governments. It should promote:
Paragraph 179 of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons states that donor countries should be responsive to requests for assistance in the area of disability. Donor countries are urged to include disability assistance in their bilateral and multilateral assistance programmes.
Paragraph 174 urges international organizations or multilateral financial institutions collaborating with Member States in financial ventures to give priority to programmes that assist the disabled. Multilateral and bilateral aid agencies should include in their programmes measures that ensure the allocation of increased resources for both capital investment and recurrent expenditure for services related to prevention, rehabilitation and equalization of opportunities.
Paragraph 53 of the Tallinn Guidelines for Action on Human Resources Development in the Field of Disability states that international development assistance programmes should include a specific component that ensures the participation of persons with disabilities in such schemes.