On the occasion of its 24 session, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities held a general discussion on the right to work and employment of persons with disabilities. The purpose of this general discussion was the elaboration, by the UN Committee, of a general comment on the rights of persons with disabilities to work and employment. The aim of the general comment is to provide guidance to the State Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (hereinafter UN CRPD) on the measures they should adopt in order to ensure full compliance with their obligation to respect, protect and fulfill the human rights of persons with disabilities with regard to the Article 27 of the UN CRPD.
EASPD, as an active participant to the Conference of the State Parties to the UN CRPD has provided the UN Committee with a written position analysing the challenges in the implementation of Article 27 of the UN CRPD.
EASPD has informed the UN Committee on the different methodologies used across Europe to support the employment of individuals with disabilities, many of which have evolved towards a great level of performance over the last years. The current situation shows that, although stakeholders are operating a change in order to reflect the principles of the UN CRPD, the change is not happening at the same pace across the different European countries and in the different areas of service providers.
In most European countries, there are two main forms of employment-related services. The first one includes a variety of service models focusing on including persons with disabilities in the open labour market. The second one includes methodologies which adapt the overall working environment to the situation of jobholders with disabilities. The main options in this area are social economy enterprises and inclusive enterprises. Within this last model, the extent to which they provide for decent jobs or improve the ability of individuals to access decent jobs in the short and medium term is crucial.
In addition to that, there are a series of schemes, which have characteristics that are common to the open labour market and the protected sector.
As society, individuals and disabilities evolve, the enforcement of Article 27 requires a great deal of flexibility and innovation by Member Parties.
It is important to note that in all forms of services, the trend is shifting towards forms of support which are more anchored to the UN CRPD. However, service providers appear to struggle the most for lack of proper legal and financial frameworks.
Appropriate policies are key to achieve inclusion in the labour market, to create decent jobs and to provide a correct implementation of Article 27. The main actions that EASPD supports are:
- Ensuring that employers cannot discriminate against a person on the basis of their disability,
- Providing legal recognition to employment-related services,
- Supporting the employment-related services through the use of public funds,
- Using subsidies, state aid policies and specific rules promoting reserved markets for inclusive businesses and social enterprises,
- tackling the existence of benefit traps, which lock individuals with disabilities into unemployment when they are at risk of losing their social benefits.
- Fostering a stronger stakeholder’s cooperation.
- Supporting research and innovation programmes as well as to the exchange of promising practices in the area of employment.
On 22 March 2021, on the occasion of the general discussion organised in the framework of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, EASPD’s Secretary General provided an oral contribution explaining EASPD’s strategy for the achievement of a correct application of Article 27 in all the countries which are parties to the UN CRPD.
For more information, please contact Fabrizio De Angelis, Policy Officer fabrizio.deangelis(at)easpd.eu