23rd July: The first ever Global Disability Summit convenes this week to endorse social protection as a tool for the economic empowerment of disabled people.
As delegates gather on London, the first of a major series of working papers funded by the Department for International Development in the U.K provides evidence on social protection and disability. The South Africa case study produced by Development Pathways reveals how, if designed effectively, social protection schemes can contribute to equality of opportunity in the workplace for persons with disabilities.
The Summit will endorse a high-level document, the Charter for Change (pictured), which identifies a role for social protection in “opening up routes to economic empowerment”. Signee Development Pathways in a joint blog with the University of York’s Interdisciplinary Global Development Centre ahead of the event, cites the initiative as an example of the opportunity the Summit presents “to raise global attention for issues that are often neglected”.
“Disability benefits are rarely given prominence in discussions on social protection in low- and middle-income countries,” this flags, as Development Pathways relaunches its unique Disability Benefits Database to take stock of the situation worldwide. This identifies that many nations still lack disability-inclusive social protection with adequate inclusion rates and transfer values, given the additional costs the estimated one in eight people who have a disability worldwide incur in order to enter the workplace.