Inclusion of persons with disabilities

One out of every seven people in the world—or some 1 billion people—has a disability. Between 785 and 975 million of them are estimated to be of working age , but most do not work. While many are successfully employed and fully integrated into society, as a group, persons with disabilities often face disproportionate poverty and unemployment.

Decent work is the ILO's primary goal for everyone, including persons with disabilities. The ILO has worked for over 50 years to promote skills development and employment opportunities for people with disabilities based on the principles of equal opportunity, equal treatment, mainstreaming into vocational rehabilitation and employment services programmes and community involvement. The principle of non-discrimination is increasingly emphasized as disability issues have come to be seen as human rights issues. The ILO works to achieve this goal through promoting labour standards, advocacy, knowledge-building on the training and employment of people with disabilities and technical cooperation services and partnerships, both within the ILO and externally. A strategy of including consideration of persons with disabilities in the training and employment promotion policies and programmes of the ILO and of constituents is currently being developed.

What's New

  1. Disability inclusion

    The Ability Factor: Employing people with disabilities makes good business sense

    14 March 2014

    People with disabilities represent an untapped pool of skills, employing them makes good business sense. Companies can benefit from more diverse workforce, improved productivity, reduced turnover, safer workplaces and increased customer service and community brand loyalty.

  2. Disabled beggars in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

    May 2013

    Employment Working Paper No. 141

Key Resources

  1. R99 Vocational Rehabilitation (Disabled) Recommendation, 1955

    22 June 1955

    Recommendation concerning Vocational Rehabilitation of the Disabled

  2. C159 Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Disabled Persons) Convention, 1983

    20 June 1983

    Convention concerning Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Disabled Persons)
    (Note: Date of coming into force: 06/20/1985.)

  3. Managing disability in the workplace : ILO code of practice

    13 February 2002

    This code has been drawn up to guide employers to adopt a positive strategy in managing disability related issues in the workplace. It is intended to be read in the context of national conditions and to be applied in accordance with national law and practice.

  4. C111 Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958

    25 June 1958

    Convention concerning Discrimination in Respect of Employment and Occupation
    (Note: Date of coming into force: 06/15/1960.)

  5. R168 Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Disabled Persons) Recommendation, 1983

    20 June 1983