1 Dec 2007

Dont Dis-my-Ability - UN International Day of Disabled Persons - 3rd December 2007

The United Nations General Assembly announced that 3 December is to be observed every year as the International Day of Disabled Persons. The Day was initially proclaimed to commemorate the anniversary of the General Assembly's adoption of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled people to promote understanding about disability issues and to increase awareness. The UN Programme on Disability is the lead programme on disability within the United Nations System. It is housed in the Division for Social Policy and Development at the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the UN Secretariat. The programme stems from the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons adopted by the United Nations in 1982 and the Standard Rules on Equalisation of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities adopted in 1994.

The major objectives of the Programme are the following:

  • To support the full and effective participation of disabled people in social life and development
  • To advance the rights and protect the dignity of disabled people
  • To promote equal access to employment, education, information, goods and services

The International Year of Disabled Persons, 1981, was a milestone in the long history of the struggle of disabled people against discrimination and segregation, and for equal rights. The World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons recognised disabled persons first and foremost as citizens vested with all the rights and obligations that this implied. For the next 50 years, the United Nations’ commitment to ‘a society for all’ will continue to make a difference in the lives not only of disabled people, but among all people

This year's International Day of Disabled Persons focuses on how to ensure decent work for disabled people and on ways to tap into the abilities of this marginalized talent pool. The recently adopted Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities recognizes in Article 27 the rights of disabled people to work and employment on an equal basis with others. It stresses the right of disabled people to earn a living from freely chosen work, and to work in an environment that is both accessible and accepting. More details about the Convention and the International Day of Disabled Persons are available on the United Nations Enable website.

DIS my ABILITY is the slogan of the New South Wales Government International Day of Disabled Persons)

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