ILO brief

COVID-19 and the World of Work: Ensuring the inclusion of persons with disabilities at all stages of the response

Many persons with disabilities come into the COVID-19 crisis already facing significant exclusion in all areas of the world of work. The pandemic and resulting economic shocks increase the vulnerability of persons with disabilities to further inequalities. The new ILO brief points out what needs to be done to make the socio-economic response inclusive of persons with disabilities and also addresses issues related to containment measures and the long-term recovery.

Persons with disabilities, 15% of the world’s population, face marginalization in social, economic and health terms, as well as limitations by public services to reach them. This marginalization increases the threat to lives and livelihoods that the COVID-19 crisis poses. In response to the crisis, an approach that is inclusive of persons with disabilities is essential to mitigate the negative effects of the crisis and ensure a sustainable recovery.

This brief highlights key issues that a disability-inclusive COVID-19 response, as called for by the UN Secretary-General, should address. It is based on the ILO approach to promoting decent work for all and ensuring employment and social protection for persons with disabilities. Doing so will contribute to each of the ILO’s key pillars in fighting COVID-19 in the world of work.