1 July 2016
Persons with disabilities are often left out of poverty reduction and development programmes. If they would be able to participate in such programmes, however, the vicious cycle of poverty and disability could be broken.
Leave No One Behind is one of the key messages of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2015-2030. The SDGs’ aim is that no person – regardless of ethnicity, gender, geography, disability, race or other status – is denied universal human rights and basic economic opportunities.
Over 165 countries have ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). Persons with disabilities have a right to access health services, education, work and employment. There are even two articles that specifically address inclusion of persons with disabilities in international cooperation and in humanitarian activities.
Despite the positive political climate for inclusion, the majority of persons with disabilities are often still left out of development initiatives, and are unable to benefit from economic progress. Negative attitudes towards them as well as barriers in the built environment and communication channels block their effective inclusion and equal participation in development programmes, public services and employment opportunities. In many countries, the UN convention still needs to be translated into rights-based policies and practical, feasible solutions that work in their specific context.