The ILO announced in a press release dated December 14, 2006 the unanimous adoption by the United Nations of a new Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. This new Convention would benefit millions of people whose inability to find jobs due to social exclusion costs the global economy an estimated $1.9 trillion US per year.
According to ILO Director-General Juan Somavia, “The Convention marks a ground-breaking change in the way disability issues are regarded in international law.” Disabled workers will have the possibility of exercising their labour and trade union rights on an equal basis with others and discrimination on the basis of disability will be prohibited in all forms of employment. Where workers become disabled while in employment, their jobs will be protected through job retention measures, and provisions will be made for vocational and professional rehabilitation and return to work.
The UN Convention will be open for signature and ratification on March 30, 2007. Further details can be found on the ILO Website