LUSAKA (ILO News) – The International Labour Organization (ILO) will hold a conference here on 9-11 March to explore opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities to work in the general community.
In Africa, some 10 to 15 million people have an intellectual disability. Because of stigma and discrimination, a majority are excluded from education, training and employment and live in poverty and isolation.
The conference, “People with intellectual disabilities – Opening pathways to training and employment in the African region”, will bring together representatives from several East African countries, Australia and the United Kingdom, including government officials, workers’ and employers’ representatives, disability advocates and service providers. Among the keynote speakers addressing the conference are:
Self Advocate/Vice General Secretary
Zambia Association for Children and Adults with Learning Disabilities
Ethiopian National Association on Intellectual Disabilities
Zanzibar Association for People with Developmental Disabilities
Uganda Parents of Children with Learning Disabilities
The event will provide a first-of-its-kind opportunity under the aegis of the ILO to promote decent and productive work for persons with intellectual disabilities and will seek to build on the momentum created by the 2008 adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which many African countries have ratified or signed it with a view to ratification.
The three-day conference – funded by the Irish government – will aim to:
Note to correspondents:
The conference is open to members of the media. ILO experts are available for interviews.
The conference will be held at the Pamodzi Hotel in Lusaka. The official language of the conference will be English. A guide and reader service, as well as sign language interpretation, will be provided upon request.
ILO media contacts:
Senior Communication and Public Information Officer, Addis Ababa
Regional Technical Officer on Disability, ILO-Irish Aid Partnership Programme, Lusaka
Senior Communication and Public Information Officer, Geneva