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EFFECTIVE WAYS OF MAKING PERSONS WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY AN INSTRUMENT OF NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

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Abstract

Persons with disabilities are often left out of development processes and development progress. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is committed to an inclusive approach to sustainable human development which benefits all and ensures that no one is left behind. UNDP has a strong and institutional commitment to mainstream human rights including the rights of persons with disabilities in our work, through the human rights-based approach to our development programming. The inclusion of persons with disabilities in our work is also instrumental to the achievement of human development and the SDGs.

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Introduction

Persons with disabilities are one of the largest minority groups in the world, estimated to represent over 15 per cent (approximately 1.5 billion people) of the world’s population. Persons with disabilities face challenges to fully participate in society which is further heightened by discriminatory social attitudes – this culminates in marginalization and significant barriers to their inclusion and participation in society and in development.

Disability has a significant economic and social impact on persons with disabilities and their families, as well as on their communities and society. Employment rates are lower for men and women with disabilities than their peers without disabilities and excluding persons with disabilities from the world of work can cost countries between 1 and 7 percent of Gross Domestic Product. Persons with disabilities are at an increased risk of poverty due to this reduced access to employment and lower wages; they also have extra costs of living associated with various barriers such as medical care, assistive devices or personal support. In 2006, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) was adopted and to date there are 177 member state parties. It is among the fastest ratified human rights treaties and aims to “promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity”.

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