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Work as a Human Right

Although work can feel like the ‘daily grind’, it’s also the key to social and financial independence.

Work should not be an exclusive privilege. Everyone has the right to work, without discrimination. If there is any doubt in your mind about ‘work’ as a human right, let’s check in with the United Nations (UN).

Select the audio link below to learn more. If you would like to download a written transcript, scroll to the bottom of the page.

Calling the UN

As you have just heard, there is no doubt that people with disability have the same rights as anyone else in accessing employment. This includes making appropriate accommodations or adjustments where required and without discrimination. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 23) states everyone in every nation has the right to work.

What else does the UN have to say about disability and employment?

In 2006, the United Nations introduced the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It not only states what the rights of people with disabilities are, it also sets out expectations in relation to laws, regulations, practices and services.

For example:

  • Article 26 of the Convention says that ‘to enable persons with disabilities to attain maximum independence and ability, countries are to provide comprehensive habilitation and rehabilitation services in the areas of health, employment and education’.
  • Article 27 goes on to stipulate ‘Persons with disabilities have equal rights to work and gain a living. Countries are to prohibit discrimination in job-related matters, promote self-employment, entrepreneurship and starting one’s own business, employ persons with disabilities in the public sector, promote their employment in the private sector, and ensure that they are provided with reasonable accommodation at work’.

Your task

Did you already know everyone has the right to work or was this new information for you? Select the comments link and post your response to the following question.

Do you think most countries and workplaces are doing enough to meet the requirements you have just read about in the UN agreement? Why or why not?

References

United Nations. Division for Social Policy and Development Disability: Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities - Articles.

United Nations. (1948). The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

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This article is from the free online course:

Realising Career Potential: Rethinking Disability

Griffith University