Diakonia - People change the world

Rights of persons with disabilities to decent work

The first national inquiry "The Rights of Persons with Disability to Decent Work in Palestine", carried out by the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR), calls for drafting new laws and amending existing ones, guarantee of equal pay to persons with disability, and to afford them protection and equal opportunity.

3/11/2014 Publisher: Dona Khoury

Launched on March 4th 2014

The launch in Ramallah, Palestine, on March 4th 2014 brought together various stakeholders, including Diakonia and the Norwegian Association of Disabled (NAD) and persons with disabilities.  

The study shed light on the impediments to mainstreaming persons with disability in the job market and the attitude adopted by business-owners with particular emphasis on disabled women. 

Recommendations from the inquiry:

A healthy and decent working environment must be ensured for persons with disabilities. An environment which protects them from discrimination and where they get equal pay and enjoy different benefits as their normal peers.

There is a need to work on the formulation, development and modification of national laws and legislations, and activate the necessary mechanisms for the implementation of these laws/legislations.

Plans and programs that raise the community’s awareness about the rights of persons with disabilities in generalmust be worked upon, with special focus on the right to decent work in an aim to contribute to changing the stereotype and negative attitudes towards persons with disabilities.

46 per cent sees vocational training av essential

The results of the study titled 'The right of persons with disabilities to Decent Work in Palestine' showed that 46 per cent of people with disabilities believe that vocational training contributes to enroll them in the labor market.

The ICHR team that introduced the inquiry on March 4th 2014. From the left: Linda Abu Rub, Randa Siniora/Executive Director and Islam Tamimi/Researcher (for the National Inquiry) and Coordinator – Awareness & Training Unit.

Implement international conventions for human rights

The Commissioner-General of the Independent Commission for Human Rights; Dr. Ahmad Harb, urged that Palestine should work towards implementing the international conventions on human rights to preserve the dignity of persons with disabilities.

Dr. Harb added that the study shed light on the factors that limit the access of persons with disabilities to work in both the government and private sectors/organizations, such as the fixed-term contracts, the unadjusted working places, and the lack of tools that may assist their access to the workplace.

Inquiry based on broad participation

On behalf of Diakonia/NAD, Mr. Svein Brodtkorb mentioned that this inquiry shed the light on the rights of persons with disabilities within the community, addressed human rights issues in Palestine, and was based on a participatory work between relevant institutions and persons with disabilities and with the technical support of both Diakonia and NAD.

A long term work for more than 20 years

Mr. Brodtkorb added that Diakonia and NAD have been engaged in promoting disabled peoples rights for more than 20 years, in cooperation with and funding from NAD, as well as funding from Sida.

Mr. Brodtkorb expressed his appreciation and thanks to the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) for its fruitful and accommodative involvement and collaboration in mainstreaming disability into its policy and Strategic Plan for 2014-2018 by saying: “We commend this great and exemplary initiative, and the underlying principle behind the national inquiry about persons with disability in Palestine comes from the vision of the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR); to ensure the equalization of opportunities for all  in a free Palestinian Society with inherent values of justice, freedom and human rights”, and added that he wants to take this opportunity to call upon duty bearers in the Palestinian society to start developing future programs addressing the rights of persons with disabilities as well as marginalized groups within the Palestinian society.

Important to challenge and change the perceptions

ICHR considers that persons with disabilities can have an active productive role in the society; challenging the existing negative perceptions towards people with disabilities as a burden on our society.

Due to the changes in laws and regulations today, and due to the changes in social and cultural perspectives, people with disability are now able to contribute and participate more in the general aspects of life; be it cultural, scientific, academic, artistic, sporting, and political levels. However, there are still a variety of barriers that preclude persons with disabilities from participating on an equal level in the Palestinian society, and are as a result of the presence of some gaps in legislation, regulations and government policies.