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International Disability Day – SAHRC calls for employers to do more

3rd December 2015

Attention: Editors and Reporters

As the world marks the International Disability Day, the South African Human Rights Commission calls on all the employers, both in private sector and government, to do more to recruit, retain and upskill persons living with disabilities in South Africa.

The theme of this year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities, “Inclusion matters: access and empowerment for all abilities” could not have been more appropriate, as it reflects the need to include, empower and realise that persons living with disabilities have different abilities.

According to the United Nations, an estimated one billion people living with disabilities worldwide face many barriers to inclusion in many key aspects of society. As a result, people living with disabilities do not enjoy access to society on an equal basis with others.  Their challenges include but not limited to transportation, employment, education as well as participation – economic, social and political. In South Africa Census reports 2011, the percentage of persons living with disabilities is at 7.5% and that over 80% of persons with disabilities are out of work.  South African employers continue to fall short of national and international targets for the employment of persons with disabilities.

As we celebrate the International Disability Day, it is imperative that persons living with disabilities are allowed to be “able to fulfil their role in society and participate on an equal basis with others. It is important to focus on the ability and not on the disability of an individual.”


Issued by the SA Human Rights Commission
Isaac Mangena, Spokesperson

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