Do measures and safeguards exist to ensure the right of persons with disabilities to an adequate standard of living for themselves and their families, including adequate food, clothing and housing?
States Parties shall take appropriate steps to safeguard and promote the realization of the right to social protection, including measures to ensure access to appropriate and affordable services, to social protection programmes and poverty reduction programmes, to public housing programmes or retirement benefits and programmes.
58% of respondents confirmed that such financial support, although mandated by law, is either not available to all, or is limited in extent. Most respondents highlighted the following challenges:
- Inadequate financial support: financial support is often minimal and not enough (for products such as food, medication, clothing, personal assistance, hygiene products). Due to the high costs of disability assistance, PWDs cannot afford adequate basic living standards, and many fall into a cycle of poverty. People with severe disabilities are the main sufferers from inadequate financial support. In some countries, such support is not supported by the government.
- Selectivity of schemes or funds: The assistance PWDs are entitled to receive is dependent on whether PWDs qualify to strict sets of criteria which often depend on the type of disability.
- Not all areas of social protection are addressed. For example, although shelter, clothing and food is provided in the US, many cannot access recreation facilities, consult physicians for second opinions or afford private transportation
“There is a national scheme for social protection with financial support i.e USD 30 per month per person, only for persons with severe disabilities. However, the budget is too small compared to the number of PWDs in Indonesia”. (Sunarman Sukamto, director at CBR Development and Training Center (CBR_DTC), Indonesia)
“Social Security Systems are available only for PWDs who are below the poverty line. Monthly living allowance, medical support, financial support to construct houses and for engage self-employment is available. [However], only less than 5% of the disabled population is benefited from these schemes.” (Prasanna Kuruppu, Disability Organization Joint front, Coordinator/Focal Point – International Affiliations, member of DPI, Sri Lanka)
“The Government of Benin established by a decree the Support Fund for the Rehabilitation and Integration of Disabled Persons (FARIPH) that finance individuals eligible applicants in various fields. But all people with disabilities do not have systematic access to this support.” (Géronime Tokpo, Fédération des Associations de Personnes Handicapées du Bénin (FAPHB), President of the Working Committee for the restructuration of FAPHB, member of DPI, Benin)
Article 19: Living Independently and being included in the community
“States Parties to the present Convention recognize the equal right of all persons with disabilities to live in the community, with choices equal to others, and shall take effective and appropriate measures to facilitate full enjoyment by persons with disabilities of this right and their full inclusion and participation in the community, including by ensuring that:
a) Persons with disabilities have the opportunity to choose their place of residence and where and with whom they live on an equal basis with others and are not obliged to live in a particular living arrangement;
b) Persons with disabilities have access to a range of in-home, residential and other community support services, including personal assistance necessary to support living and inclusion in the community, and to prevent isolation or segregation from the community;
c) Community services and facilities for the general population are available on an equal basis to persons with disabilities and are responsive to their needs.”
(UN Convention on the Rights for Persons with Disabilities)