Disability and work: never give up!
In Latin America, at least 50 million people, approximately 10 per cent of the population. live with some kind of disability.
About 82 per cent of them live in poverty, which affects the other members of their family. Between 80 and 90 per cent of disabled people in the region are unemployed or not part of the workforce. Those who have a job often work in low-level occupations, get low wages or even no monetary income.
Only 20 to 30 per cent of children with disabilities currently attend school. Since education determines an individual’s socio-economic prospects, that figure gives an idea of the (im)possibility of those children getting decent work in the future.
The International Training Centre of the ILO has run courses on actively integrating people with disabilities into the labour market since 2002. A workshop on the subject is being held in Lima, Peru, from 13 to 17 July 2009 as part of the Eurosocial Employment Programme which seeks, through the sharing of experience and the transfer of methodology between Latin America and the European Union, to analyse the strategies used by the countries in the European Union to bolster the labour market integration of people with disabilities. It also examines the ILO’s approach, different countries’ legislation, active labour market policies and the scope of specific institutions and programmes.
Because significant experience and good practice with a strong public and social impact exists both in Europe and in the region, and can be used to overcome problems in integrating people with disabilities into the world of work, the workshop participants will analyse and assess the cases of Sweden and Brazil, together with the European Commission’s Propoli project for Peru.