Disabled People Must Not Pay for Crisis, Says European Disability Forum

Posted on 27 November 2008. Filed under: Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Employment, Human Rights, News, Poverty | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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EDF Statement on the Economic Crisis: Disabled People Must Not Pay for the Crisis

Paris, 16 Novembre 2008 – The European Disability Forum, which is the voice of more than 50 million European people with disabilities, calls on the European Council, Commission and Parliament and other European institutions and all the governments of Europe to ensure disabled people and their families do not pay for the worldwide economic crisis by the reduction in their income, benefits, employment opportunities or in cuts in support to our representative organisations.

The crisis was caused by the irresponsible lending and unacceptable negligence by those in charge of the financial institutions and regulatory bodies of the world. Governments’ response to the ‘credit crunch’ has been to create financial resources to bail out the banks. Now as this lack of confidence feeds its way into the general economic system it is vital that poor, elderly and disabled people and their families of Europe do not pay for this crisis. We already in a precarious position prior to the crisis, therefore call for a reflationary approach to spend more on investment in accessible infra structure, on benefits and the provision of tax relief, so that these groups can buy goods and services so improving the economic situation.

The world through the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities has only just recognised the urgent need to extend the international human rights law framework to disabled people. Society cannot afford to dilute its commitment to human rights including the right to employment and family life. Traditionally disabled people have been the ‘reserve army of labour’, ’the last to be hired the first to be fired’, seen as expendable at times of economic crisis. Disabled People, their families, the unemployed and the poor cannot become the scapegoat for a crisis not of their making. Already the worsening economic position has led to attempts to cut benefits in many countries such as Ireland, Hungary, Sweden and Italy.

The lesson of this crisis – the value of investing in people – is far more important than speculative investment and it benefits the whole of society and strengthens its resistance to such crisis driven changes. If the gap between the disadvantaged and the wealthy widens, it will cost society more in the long run. The EDF will ensure the equality and rights of disabled people come to the top of the political agenda in the forthcoming European Elections.

Cutbacks and mass unemployment will develop a fertile ground for violence, hate crime, undermine solidarity and produce dangerous attitudes for democracy. We call on all those with political and economic decision making responsibility to do all they can to ensure that disabled and poor people are treated with equality and their economic well being is assured by the measures they take at this time. Now is the time for strong action so that in 2010-European Anti Poverty Year- disabled people and other disadvantaged groups do not again come to the top of the agenda.

The European Disability Forum (EDF) is the European umbrella organisation representing the interests of 50 million disabled citizens in Europe. EDF membership includes national umbrella organisations of disabled people from all EU/EEA countries, as well as European NGOs representing the different types of disabilities, organisations and individuals committed to disability issues. The mission of the European Disability Forum is to ensure disabled people full access to fundamental and human rights through their active involvement in policy development and implementation in Europe.

Forum européen des personnes handicapées
>>> Communiqué de presse

Déclaration du Forum Européen des personnes handicapées à propos de la crise financière: Les personnes handicapées ne doivent pas payer la crise

Paris, le 16 novembre 2008 – Représentant 50 millions d’européens en situation de handicap, le Forum Européen des Personnes Handicapées appelle le Conseil Europeén la Commission Européenne et le Parlement Européen, les Institutions Européennes et tous les Gouvernements des pays européens à s’assurer que les personnes handicapées et leurs familles n’aient pas à payer les conséquences de la crise financière internationale par une réduction de leurs revenus, de leurs accès à l’emploi, de leurs moyens de compensation ou par une réduction des moyens attribués à leurs organisations représentatives.

La crise financière a été causée par des accords de prêts irresponsables et des négligences inacceptables de la part des responsables d’Institutions financières et de régulation financières. La réponse des Gouvernements à cette déroute bancaire a été la création de ressources financières pour sauver les banques. Maintenant que la perte de confiance gagne l’économie réelle, il est essentiel que les européens exposés à la pauvreté, à la maladie et aux situations handicap n’aient pas à faire les frais de cette crise. Déjà affectée par la précarité avant cette crise, nous pensons au contraire qu’une politique de relance devrait augmenter les allocations, investir dans l’accessibilité et accorder des avantages fiscaux pour que ces groupes puissent consommer des biens et des services et ainsi soutenir le développement économique.

Avec l’adoption par les Nations Unies de la Convention Internationale pour le droit des personnes handicapées le monde vient juste de reconnaître le besoin urgent d’un élargissement du cadre des Droits de l’Homme aux personnes handicapées. La société ne peut pas se permettre maintenant de d’affaiblir son engagement pour les Droits de la Personne et notamment le droit à l’emploi et le droit à fonder une famille.

Il est depuis longtemps d’usage que la réponse aux besoins des personnes handicapées représente une « réserve d’emploi », ce sont les dernières à être engagées et les premières à être licenciées, perçues comme quantité négligeable. La dégradation de la situation économique a déjà conduit plusieurs pays à vouloir supprimer des avantages acquis, comme en Irlande, en Hongrie, en Suède et en Italie.

La leçon de cette crise est que l’investissement sur le développement des personnes est beaucoup plus essentiel que les investissements spéculatifs, qu’il bénéficie à l’ensemble de la collectivité et qu’il renforce les capacités de réponse collective à ce type de crise. Si le fossé entre les riches et les pauvres s’élargit encore la crise coûtera plus cher et durera plus longtemps. Le Forum Européen des Personnes Handicapées veillera à ce que l’égalité et les droits des personnes handicapes devienne une priorité de l’agenda politique européen lors des prochaines élection européennes.

Les restrictions et l’augmentation du chômage vont créer un terrain propice au développement de la violence, d’attitudes dangereuses pour la démocratie et constituent une menace pour la solidarité. Nous appelons les responsables politiques et économiques à faire face à leur responsabilité et à prendre immédiatement les décisions nécessaires pour que les personnes handicapées, leurs familles et les personnes pauvres soient traitées avec équité et leur avenir économique assuré.

Le Forum européen des personnes handicapées (FEPH) est la plateforme européenne qui représente les intérêts de 50 millions de citoyens handicapés au sein de l’Union européenne. Les organisations membres du FEPH incluent les plateformes nationales des personnes handicapées de tous les Etats membres de l’UE et de l’Espace économique européen, ainsi que les ONG européennes représentant les différents types de handicap. La mission du FEPH est de garantir le respect total des droits fondamentaux et humains des personnes handicapées par le biais d’une implication active dans le développement et application des politiques européennes.



This press release was circulated on the AsiaPacificDisability listserver.

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Call for Papers, World Bank Conference on Employment and Development, Bonn, Germany, May 4-5, 2009

Posted on 18 November 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Call for Papers, Employment, Events and Conferences, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

This conference is not specifically focused on disability issues, but it could be an opportunity for presenters to submit proposals that introduce a disability dimension to the issue of Employment and Development. People interested in attending may wish to monitor the conference website to see how many sessions focus on disability issues. People who would need disability-related accommodations should contact the conference organizers directly to inquire.

Call for Papers – Fourth IZA/World Bank Conference on ‘Employment and Development’
Bonn, Germany
— May 4-5, 2009

Dear Colleagues,

In many developing countries, the number of workers facing unemployment, low pay and poor working conditions is high and often growing. Policy makers everywhere are searching for answers, yet significant knowledge gaps persist in our understanding of the functioning of labor markets in low and middle income countries.

The World Bank has put forward a strategy that aims at assisting the international research community to address priority areas in the field of labor markets and development. In 2006, the World Bank and the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) have launched a new IZA research area on “Employment and Development.” At the core of this partnership are the series of international annual conferences to provide a platform to bring together researchers and policy makers from around the world to discuss and present their work in these priority areas.

IZA and the World Bank will organize a two-day conference in Bonn, Germany on 4-5 May 2009. Parallel sessions will be organized. Conference organizers invite you to submit your contribution by December 15, 2008. Decisions will be made by the end of January 2009.

We invite submission of papers on labor markets, job creation and labor market policies in developing countries. We will consider detailed abstracts, but will favor full papers – particularly empirical ones – that focus on one of the 7 topics of research listed at: http://www.iza.org/en/webcontent/research/ra7/index#topics
Papers dealing with developed countries and transitions economies are welcome if they prove to be relevant for the purpose of the conference and our understanding of labor market mechanism for the developing world.

The keynote speakers and panel sessions will focus on the topic of “Causes and Consequences of Formality and Informality”.

Keynote Speakers:
Gary Fields, Professor of Labor Economics, Cornell University
Santiago Levy, Vice President for Sector and Knowledge at the Inter-American Development Bank

For more information on this event, please refer to the conference website at:
http://www.iza.org/conference_files/worldb2009

The online application form is available at:
http://www.iza.org/conference_files/formApplication?conf_id=1642

Previous IZA/World Bank conferences have attracted prestigious researchers and policymakers from a wide variety of developed and developing countries (see the above link for details).

Organizers: Markus Frölich (University of Mannheim and IZA), Randall Akee (IZA), Jean Fares (World Bank) and Stefano Scarpetta (OECD and IZA)

Please do not hesitate to contact the organizers at development@iza.org for any questions regarding this event



I received this announcement via the Global Partnership for Disability and Development mailing list

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