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New evidence on disability benefits will support UN push to include persons with disabilities

11/04/2019

New evidence on the extent to which social protection schemes worldwide are disability-inclusive will support a UN push for disability benefits, according to the ILO.

Stefan Trömel, a Senior Disability Specialist at the ILO, speaking at the launch of a new Joint Statement to promote disability-inclusive social protection signed by bilateral donors, UN agencies and disability organisations, said: “We have an amazing opportunity…[there is] growing momentum and much more evidence and knowledge now.”

Trömel cited the example of Development Pathways’ new report on social protection and disability, also launched at the event, which he said “will help us put this joint statement into practice”.

The initiative behind the statement aims to promotes the need for non-discrimination and accessibility as guiding principles for social protection schemes for persons with disabilities. The intervention by the ILO comes as Development Pathways releases findings that in countries without disability-specific schemes, persons with disabilities have lower access to social protection than the population as a whole. In total, we found that only 33 low- and middle-income countries have tax-financed disability benefits.

However, it also finds that a number of disability-specific schemes are also falling short on inclusion of persons with disabilities. Only six countries invest more than 0.3% of GDP, and so ensure significant coverage and avoid exclusion of persons with disabilities.

The report is the result of research supported by DFID in seven countries, an analysis of six household survey datasets, and a comprehensive literature review.

The work highlights the need for more data on disability and social protection to monitor progress and evaluate schemes. It also underlines the need for selection mechanisms and disability assessments that do not erect further barriers to the inclusion of persons with disabilities.

The recording of the launch in Geneva on 9th April is available by clicking the video, above.

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