Promoting and Protecting the Rights of Persons with Disabilities


Due to the ageing population, the number of people with disabilities is growing – until today 80 million people in Europe have disabilities. In order to support these people the European Union aims to renew the commitment on the protection of rights of persons with disabilities. The commitment is based on the UN Disability Convention, which defines minimum standards for the protection for affected persons. The European Union has signed the convention in February 2011 and until today most of the European member states have joined the convention and are obligated to ratify it.

Although ETUCE member organisations are already active in supporting persons with disabilities, the affected persons still face many difficulties. ETUCE highlights article 24 of the convention: "States Parties recognize the right of persons with disabilities to education. With a view to realising this right without discrimination and on the basis of equal opportunity, States Parties shall ensure an inclusive education system at all levels and lifelong learning directed." The education sector plays an important role in enhancing an inclusive society; therefore the member states should feel responsible to support schools and other education institutions financially and through guidelines in reaching this goal.

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