Decent Work for Persons with Disabilities in Africa – realizing this human right through effective legislation

5 May 2008 | Uncategorized

The International Labour Organization (ILO) will host an International Law Conference ‘Decent Work for Persons with Disabilities in Africa – realizing this human right through effective legislation,’ from 12th to 14th May 2008 in ape Town, South Africa. Linked to an ILO project “Promoting the Employment and Employability of People with Disabilities through Effective Legislation”, funded by the Government of Ireland, the conference is organized collaboratively by the International Labour Organization, the University of Western Cape, South Africa, and the Protestant University of Applied Sciences, Bochum, Germany. This project is in part aimed at enhancing the capacity of national governments to implement effecetive legislation concerning employment of people with disabilities.

Improving legislation and implementation strategies has been identified as one of the main issues to be tackled in the African Decade oF Disabled Persons 1999 – 2009. An estimated 470 million of the world’s working age people have some form of disability. The ILO defines persons with disabilities at work as ‘individuals whose prospects of securing, returning to, retaining and advancing in suitable employment are substantially reduced as a result of a duly recognized physical, sensory, intellectual or mental impairment.

The second Global Report 2007 on discrimination under the follow-up to the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work examining emerging issues in patterns of workplace discrimination and inequalities and recent policy responses, and outlining the ILO’s experience and achievements to date and the challenges it faces, points to the need for better enforcement of legislation against discrimination, as well as non-regulatory initiatives by governments and enterprises, and equipping the social partners to be more effective in making equality a reality at the workplace.

The Report puts forward other proposals for future action, including making equality a mainstream objective of the ILO’s Decent Work Country Programmes. The Global Report describes major advances in the struggle against discrimination, including progress in ratification of related ILO Conventions, as well as improvements on the national legal and institutional fronts, and action plans and programmes to combat inequalities stemming from discrimination.

It also identifies challenges such as weak law enforcement, lack of resources among bodies set up to fight discrimination, plans that are too narrow in scope and programmes too short in duration, and the informal economy as one area where equality-enhancing policies face particular difficulties in making an impact.

The overall purpose of this conference is to examine the main legal issues in disability discrimination law and the framework provided by international labour standards and by the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), with a particular focus on work and employment.

For further enquiries on this conference please contact:

Ms Matlou
ILO Pretoria
347 Hilda Street: Hatfield 0083: P.O. Box 11694: Hatfield 0028: Pretoria, South Africa
Tel: (012) 431-8800 Fax:(012) 431 8859

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