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UN Programme on Disability   Working for full participation and equality


Article 27 - Right to work
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Sixth Session



Report by the Chairman


Draft article 22

95. There was general agreement in the Committee to take a rights-based approach to this article. The Committee also noted that the text of the Convention should not derogate from existing international instruments, such as International Labour Organisation Conventions.

96. The Committee expressed a general preference for States to recognise the importance of access by persons with disabilities to the open labour market, in order to empower and enable them to participate fully in society. General concern was expressed about the potential for exploitation of persons with disabilities. The balance of views in the Committee on sheltered workshops was that such settings were undesirable because of the potential for segregation from the community and their conditions of employment. There was agreement that there should be further consideration of this point.

97. The Committee noted that there was a degree of over-lap between this Article and Articles 17, 19 and 21 bis (habilitation or rehabilitation for the purposes of work).


98. There was general agreement that the chapeau should deal with general principles, and that the sub-paragraphs should deal with measures to realise those principles. With this in mind the Committee agreed to delete paragraph (a), and incorporate its concept in the chapeau. There was also considerable support for the idea that employment of persons by the public service should be mentioned, because of the role the public sector should play in setting an example to the private sector, and that this idea could be included in the chapeau. This could allow the deletion of sub paragraph (i).

99. The chapeau now reads:

States Parties recognise the right of persons with disabilities to work, [on an equal basis with others]; this includes the opportunity to gain a living by work that they freely choose or accept in a labour market and work environment that is open, inclusive and accessible to persons with disabilities, [with a view to promoting equal opportunity and treatment of persons with disabilities,] and protecting them from poverty. States Parties [shall set an example of employment of persons with disabilities] and take appropriate steps to safeguard and promote the realisation of this right, including measures to:

Paragraph (c)

100. There was general support for dividing sub-paragraph (c) into two, the first dealing with paid employment, and the second with self-employment.

101. Paragraph (c) now reads:

(c) promote [equal] employment opportunities and career advancement for persons with disabilities in the open labour market, as well as assistance in finding, obtaining and maintaining [and returning to] employment;

(cbis) promote opportunities for self-employment, entrepreneurship and starting one's own business

Paragraph (d)

102. There was no agreement on the issue of quotas in paragraph (d). There did appear, however, to be support for using instead some less specific language on affirmative action or special measures.

103. Paragraph (d) now reads:

(d) encourage employers to hire persons with disabilities, such as through affirmative action programmes, incentives [and other appropriate policies, support and special measures];

Paragraph (e)

104. There was general support to amend the text of paragraph (e) so that it now reads:

(e) ensure that reasonable accommodation is provided to person with disabilities in the workplace;

Paragraph (f)

105. Some delegations proposed that this paragraph could be deleted, while others supported its retention.

Paragraph (g)

106. The Committee noted the possibility that paragraph (g) could either be merged with paragraph (c) or deleted and covered under proposed draft article 21 bis.

Paragraph (h)

107. There was support for including references to conditions of hiring or recruitment and for safe and healthy working conditions in paragraph (h). In view of its importance, there was also firm support for the placement of this paragraph immediately under the chapeau as a new sub-paragraph (a).

108. Paragraph (h), now paragraph (a), currently reads:

(a) protect through legislation persons with disabilities with regard to conditions of recruitment, hiring and employment, continuance of employment, career advancement, working conditions, including equal remuneration for work of equal value and equal opportunities, safe and healthy working conditions, and the redressing of grievances, and to ensure that persons with disabilities are able to exercise their labour and trade union rights.

Paragraph (j)

109. There was general support for deleting paragraph (j) and to consider the first part of it under draft article 5.

110. The draft article was referred to the facilitator (Dan Oren, Israel) for further discussion.




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