Photograph competition launched to mark United Nations Day of Disabled Persons

The ILO, Disabled Peoples’ International and Irish Aid are organizing an Asia-Pacific photograph competition under the theme “Decent Work for Persons with Disabilities” to raise awareness of the United Nations International Day of Disabled Persons on the 3rd December 2007.

Press release | BANGKOK | 25 October 2007

25th October 2007, Bangkok – The International Labour Organization, Disabled Peoples’ International and Irish Aidare jointly organizing an Asia-Pacific photograph competition under the theme “Decent Work for Persons with Disabilities” to raise awareness of the United Nations International Day of Disabled Persons on the 3rd December 2007. The competition is open to everyone aged over 18 residing in the Asia-Pacific Region and has a first prize of US$1,000. The closing date for entries is noon on the 21st November 2007. In addition to the regional competition, a separate competition will be organized for photographers living in Thailand which will carry a first prize of US$500.

The competition has been created with the aim of promoting an understanding within the Asia-Pacific region of people with disabilities and their right to decent work. Photographs must include disabled people in the work environment, including those who are self-employed, and be linked to the concept of decent work or of people advocating for their right to decent work."Decent work" is productive work in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity and has also been defined by Mr. Juan Somavia, Director General, ILO, as “work that meets people's basic aspirations, not only for income, but for security for themselves and their families, without discrimination or harassment, and providing equal treatment for women and men with and without a disability.”

Entries for the competition will only be accepted in digital format and must have a file size of no less than 1 megabyte. Photographs should be no more than 2 years old, and must not have won prizes in any other photographic competition. Submissions must include a caption explaining the disability of the subject and the link to “decent work”.

Judging will be carried by a panel of experts comprising leading photographers, the International Labour Organization, Disabled Peoples’ International, employers’, trade union and disabled persons’ representatives. Judges will give equal weighting to pictures of people with physical disabilities and non-physical disabilities. More information on the competition, submission form and full terms and conditions are available via the competition website  

Ms Sachiko Yamamoto, Regional Director, International Labour Organizationsaid, “The International Labour Organization is working to raise awareness of disabled people’s contribution to the  workplace and their rights to decent work, particularly in light of the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by the General Assembly last year. This is the first human rights convention of the 21st Century and marks a major step forward for disabled persons in all aspects of life, including work”.

Debra Perry, Senior Specialist in Disability, ILO, said “Of course the ILO has been promoting decent work for disabled persons and ratification and implementation of ILO Convention concerning Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Disabled Persons) No.159 for many years and we are encouraging countries to ratify the UN Convention as well. We hope this photo competition will bring new and positive awareness and put human faces to the millions of disabled persons who contribute to their countries’ workforce and economy every day. There is a huge untapped potential of disabled persons.”  

Saowalak Thongkuay, Regional Development Officer, Disabled Peoples’ International said, “This competition is an excellent opportunity to promote the rights of disabled people to work and show that they are also capable of contributing. With more than 400 million disabled people, of which, about 250 million are of working age, this is not an insignificant group.  Issues of disability that relate to decent work are also relevant to society in general where the physical and cultural environment, housing and transportation, social and health services, educational and work opportunities, cultural and social life, including sports and recreational facilities, should be made accessible to all. To support this competition we are promoting it through our offices across the region and in some cases organizing local national competitions such as this one in Thailand with separate prize money of US$500 for the winner.”

The “Decent Work for Persons with Disabilities” photograph competition will be open for submissions from the 25th October to the 21st November 2007, with all submissions to be made via the competition website: by mail on CD to- International Labour Organization Photograph Contest, Jigsaw Communications, 32 Sukhumvit Soi 19, Wattana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand. The competition winners will be announced at a press conference and Awards Ceremony to be held in Bangkok on the 29th November.

The International Labour Organization

The International Labour Organization (ILO) is the United Nations agency devoted to advancing opportunities for women and men to obtain decent and productive work in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity.  Its main aims are to promote rights at work, encourage decent employment opportunities, enhance social protection and strengthen dialogue in handling work-related issues.  The ILO is also the global body responsible for drawing up and overseeing international labour standards.  The ILO's unique tripartite structure brings together representatives of governments, employers and workers to jointly shape its policies and programmes.

Disabled Peoples’ International

Disabled Peoples’ International (DPI) is a world cross-disability, self-help, human rights organization of persons with disabilities established in 1981. It has been promoting full-participation and equalization of opportunity of persons with disabilities by delivering "A voice of our own." It holds special consultative status with the United Nations and has collaborated with many other international agencies as well. Disabled Peoples’ International Asia-Pacific Region has been playing an important role in the disability movement of the Asia-Pacific Region.

Irish Aid

Irish Aid is the Government of Ireland ’s programme of assistance to developing countries. Ireland has had an official development assistance programme since 1974. Ireland ’s development cooperation policy is an integral part of Ireland ’s wider foreign policy. Its aid philosophy is rooted in its foreign policy, in particular its objectives of peace and justice. Its development cooperation policy and programme reflect a longstanding commitment to human rights and fairness in international relations and are inseparable from Irish foreign policy as a whole.

For more information please contact:

David Toogood
Jigsaw Communications
Tel: 02-253-2793