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ILO works to draft code on managing disability at work

ILO works to draft code on managing disability at work

The United Nations International Labour Organization (ILO) today opened an expert meeting in Geneva aimed at finalizing a code of practice on managing disability as it relates to workplace issues.

Unemployment among the world's 386 million disabled people of working age is far higher than for other working age individuals. "Many people with disabilities can and want to work, yet they are frequently excluded," said the ILO's Pekka Aro. "As a result, many disabled people live in poverty and their potential contribution is lost - to their families, to employers and to society as a whole."

The ILO blames high unemployment among people with disabilities on their lack of access to education. Employers also often assume that people with disabilities are unable to work. Further, support services are unavailable and supportive legislation and policies are lacking.

The ILO code of practice is designed to provide guidance on disability issues as they relate to recruitment, advancement and job retention. It aims to help employers formulating management policies and governments drafting legislation. The code is based on the principle that people with disabilities - when provided with the right skills and the right job - are capable and reliable employees.

The meeting, which runs through 12 October, brings together experts, employers and workers from over 20 different countries.