NUPGE calls on Canada to ratify UN Convention
Ottawa (30 Nov. 2007) - The UN's International Day of Persons with Disabilities occurs Dec. 3 each year. The aim is to promote an understanding of disability issues and to mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. This year's theme focuses on how to ensure decent work for persons with disabilities.
The recently-adopted United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities  recognizes that persons with disabilities have a right to work and to be employed on an equal basis with others. It stresses the right to earn a living from freely chosen work and to work in an environment that is accessible and accepting.
The Canadian government signed the UN Convention earlier this year.
James Clancy, president of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), is calling on the Canadian government to ratify the convention in Parliament and to get started on implementing a plan to promote and protect the rights of workers with disabilities and to ensure they have access to decent work.
“There is a sizable gap between the working conditions and employment trends of persons with disabilities and those without a disability in Canada,” says Clancy. “It’s a terrible loss of skills and knowledge to our workplaces and society.”
Research in Canada has found that more than 55% of working-age adults with disabilities are unemployed or out of the labour market. When looking at the number of employed women who have disabilities, or who are totally out of the labour market, the rate jumps to almost 75%.
“The Canadian government should use this internationally-recognized day as the launching point for the ratification of the UN convention in Parliament,” adds Clancy.
“It would also provide an invaluable opportunity for governments in Canada to discuss and formulate a real plan that would allow persons with disabilities to participate fully in the labour market.” NUPGE
More information:? Canada urged to sign new convention on disabilities ? United Nations Enable: Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities ? NUPGE - equality and human rights ? Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities ? From Exclusion to Equality - handbook for parliamentarians - pdf