Discrimination in schools continues in the labor market

The UN states that the employment rate among people with disabilities is almost half as high as compared with the rest of the population. In all regions of the world, the figures are even lower for women.

The lack of school systems leads to many people with disabilities having poorer opportunities in the labor market. But there are also a number of other reasons. One is that people with disabilities are often exposed to discrimination and are met with negative attitudes in working life. It can also be about a lack of available communications to and from work. In addition, many workplaces are not adapted for people with special needs.

In many countries, there are no laws that cover working life and rules that prohibit discrimination against people with disabilities. People with disabilities who work also generally have significantly lower wages than others. In addition, in a survey in eight countries, almost a third of people with disabilities stated that their workplace was not available.

At the global level, it is much more common for people with disabilities who work to do so in the informal sector, or through their own activities. In Mongolia, for example, it is four times more common for people with disabilities to work in the informal sector, compared to other .

The UN notes that all these obstacles mean that many people who could work are not given the opportunity to do so. Which means that they constitute a large underutilized labor resource .

Not investing in inclusive schools and workplaces harms countries' economies

Children's right to education is an argument for investing in inclusive schools, but it is also the fact that it harms countries' economies when not all children are offered a basic education. Countries that do not give everyone the opportunity for education lose large sums of money in potential income from people who otherwise could have contributed to the countries' development.

A 2016 report by the International Disability and Development Consortium, IDDC, shows that it amounts to billions in lost earnings for the world's low-income countries every year. According to the latest UN report, the costs of the exclusive labor markets in low- and middle-income countries are estimated at between 3 and 7 percent of gross domestic product..

Example: Bangladesh

Bangladesh is estimated to lose $ 1.2 billion in revenue annually due to lack of efforts to ensure that people with disabilities have the opportunity to educate themselves and become productive in working life. This corresponds to around 1.7 percent of the country's gross domestic product.


Disability and Development Report, United Nations, 2018

Strategy for Disability Inclusive Development 2018 to 2023, DFID, 2018

IDDC. Costing Equity- the case for disability responsive education financing, 2016.

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