Did the percentage of persons with disabilities employed increase in calendar year 2012?


The question refers only to employment in companies that are required by law to employ persons with disabilities. The answer is ‘No’ if no figures are available. Without figures it is impossible to know if people with disabilities are, in fact, being employed as required. If such a figure is available, please provide the figure, a source and, if possible, an internet link. 

In detail


52% of respondents state the percentage of employed people with disabilities has decreased since 2012. Some key reasons explaining the drop were pointed out:

  • Financial crisis-related issues, exceptional political events and social cuts all hindered the employment of people with disabilities.
  • Lack of statistical data to measure real numbers
  • The employment of people with disabilities is selective according to types of disability. For instance, people with hearing, visual and intellectual disabilities are more excluded than others
  • Many countries confirmed the numbers were more or less stagnant, due to the vicious cycle of lack of skills and unemployment.  Employment is reliant on education of PWDs, which when unavailable, prevents them from applying for white collar jobs.

“Most PWDs are in informal employment. Since 2012, a considerable number of companies in Zimbabwe have been downsizing and retrenching employees and although figures are hard to come by, there is no way that employment of PWDs could have increased.” (Lovemore Rambiyawo, Information and Communications Officer, National Association of Societies for the Care of the Handicapped)

CRPD Article

Article 27- Work and Employment

“1. States Parties recognize the right of persons with disabilities to work, on an equal basis with others; this includes the right to the opportunity to gain a living by work freely chosen or accepted in a labour market and work environment that is open, inclusive and accessible to persons with disabilities. States Parties shall safeguard and promote the realization of the right to work, including for those who acquire a disability during the course of employment, by taking appropriate steps, including through legislation, to, inter alia:

a) Prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability with regard to all matters concerning all forms of employment, including conditions of recruitment, hiring and employment, continuance of employment, career advancement and safe and healthy working conditions;

b) Protect the rights of persons with disabilities, on an equal basis with others, to just and favourable conditions of work, including equal opportunities and equal remuneration for work of equal value, safe and healthy working conditions, including protection from harassment, and the redress of grievances;

c) Ensure that persons with disabilities are able to exercise their labour and trade union rights on an equal basis with others;

d) Enable persons with disabilities to have effective access to general technical and vocational guidance programmes, placement services and vocational and continuing training;

e) Promote employment opportunities and career advancement for persons with disabilities in the labour market, as well as assistance in finding, obtaining, maintaining and returning to employment;

f) Promote opportunities for self-employment, entrepreneurship, the development of cooperatives and starting one’s own business;

g) Employ persons with disabilities in the public sector;

h) Promote the employment of persons with disabilities in the private sector through appropriate policies and measures, which may include affirmative action programmes, incentives and other measures;

i) Ensure that reasonable accommodation is provided to persons with disabilities in the workplace;

j) Promote the acquisition by persons with disabilities of work experience in the open labour market;

k) Promote vocational and professional rehabilitation, job retention and return-to-work programmes for persons with disabilities.

2. States Parties shall ensure that persons with disabilities are not held in slavery or in servitude, and are protected, on an equal basis with others, from forced or compulsory labour.”

(UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities)

Article 31- Statistics and Data Collection

“1. States Parties undertake to collect appropriate information, including statistical and research data, to enable them to formulate and implement policies to give effect to the present Convention. The process of collecting and maintaining this information shall:

a) Comply with legally established safeguards, including legislation on data protection, to ensure confidentiality and respect for the privacy of persons with disabilities;

b) Comply with internationally accepted norms to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms and ethical principles in the collection and use of statistics.

2. The information collected in accordance with this article shall be disaggregated, as appropriate, and used to help assess the implementation of States Parties’ obligations under the present Convention and to identify and address the barriers faced by persons with disabilities in exercising their rights.

3. States Parties shall assume responsibility for the dissemination of these statistics and ensure their accessibility to persons with disabilities and others.”

(UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities)