Eleven major international companies today agreed to promote and include persons with disabilities throughout their operations worldwide in a move the International Labour Organization (ILO) hailed as “not only just a good moral cause” but also “good for business.”
In an announcement, ILO said that Accenture, AccorHotels, Adecco Group, AXA Group, Carrefour Group, Dow Chemical, Groupe Casino, L’Oréal, Orange, the Standard Bank Group, and Michelin have become the first signatories of the newly-created ILO Global Business & Disability Network Charter, in a ceremony in Geneva, Switzerland.
“This new Charter can also make a substantial contribution to realizing many goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” said ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder.
According to the Charter, “promoting and including persons with disabilities in the workplace is important for companies seeking the best talent and a diverse workforce.”
“Companies that are disability-inclusive provide a better workplace for all their employees,” the new Charter says. “Such companies maximize the full potential of the workforce for the benefit of both the company and its employees and are better positioned to respond to diverse market needs.”
By signing the Charter, the companies commit to promoting and including persons with disabilities throughout their operations worldwide, protecting staff with disabilities from any kind of discrimination and making the company premises and communication to staff progressively accessible to all employees with disabilities.
“The lack of equal employment opportunities for persons with disabilities often means lives of poverty and social exclusion,” said the ILO chief. “By honouring the commitments of this Charter, the private sector will be showing real leadership in making it possible for people with disabilities to have productive work and to live in dignity.”
The Charter will be provided to national employers’ federations and national business and disability networks as a way of promoting the inclusion of people with disabilities among their member companies, including small and medium size enterprises, according to ILO.
All signatories are members of the ILO Global Business and Disability Network, which brings businesses together to promote disability inclusion by highlighting the business advantages of employing people with disabilities. And the Network also benefits from insight of people with disabilities themselves, thanks to a partnership with the International Disability Alliance, a network of global and regional organizations representing people with disabilities.