EDF Board resolution on the right to work

21 March 2017

On 18 February 2017, the European Disability Forum (EDF) organised a conference on “Inclusive Workplaces: Employment of Persons with Disabilities in the Labour Market” in collaboration with its Maltese member, the Malta Federation of Organisations of Persons with Disability (MFOPD).

The right to work and employment for persons with disabilities is enshrined in Article 27 of the United Nations Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD), which indicates that persons with disabilities have the right to work, on an equal basis with others, in an open, inclusive and accessible labour market.

Work and employment are also important aspects of everyone’s life as they contribute the one’s own individual fulfilment and feeling of social integration, while also being closely linked to the ability to live independently and make one’s own choices in life.

However, the latest statistics show that the employment rate of persons with disabilities is still very low in general (48.7%) and lower than the employment rate of persons without disabilities (72.5%). Similarly, statistics also show that persons with disabilities are at a higher risk of poverty or social exclusion (30%) compared to persons without disabilities (21.5%). The scenario worsens for women with disabilities who face multiple discrimination both on the grounds of gender and on the grounds of disability.

Following the discussions during the conference, EDF Board of Directors adopted a resolution to highlight key issues and call for concrete actions from the institutions of the European Union (EU) and its Member States. Among others, we are calling for:

  • Adequate collection of data on employment, accessibility and reasonable accommodation
  • Effecting implementation and monitoring of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • Development and promotion of positive actions targeting women with disabilities and employment
  • The right to work and the freedom of movement of persons with disabilities
  • Phasing out of sheltered workshops and comparable employment settings
  • Adoption of a strong and ambitious European Accessibility Act
  • Inclusion of the rights of persons with disabilities in the next Multiannual Financial Framework

More information on the resolution and actions proposed can be found here.

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