Although many people with disabilities have limited access to healthcare, education, employment, transport and leisure activities, their needs are rarely taken into account. Handicap International works with people with disabilities, their families, their communities and a range of organisations for a truly inclusive world where people with disabilities have equal opportunities and rights. We work with disabled people to promote inclusion in education, sport and cultural activities, access to employment, and lobbying governments to ensure equal opportunities for people with disabilities.
At Handicap International, we believe that people with disabilities should have equal access to rights, opportunities, and services and be protected from discrimination, abuse, and neglect. Sadly, many of the world’s more than one billion people with disabilities are routinely denied even the most basic human rights.
In many of the poorest countries of the world, where disability is treated as a stigma, people with disabilities can face discrimination in all aspects of life. Shunned by their community and excluded from school, employment, healthcare, and other services due to direct discrimination or a lack of physical accessibility or appropriate resources, people with disabilities often live in extreme poverty and isolation. They are also disproportionately affected by physical and sexual violence.
Since Handicap International was founded in 1982, we have been working to promote the rights of disabled people. We actively support Disabled People’s Organisations and other civil society groups around the world to promote the rights of people with disabilities to access quality education, employment, healthcare, and social services.
The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Adopted in 2006, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is the first comprehensive human rights treaty of the 21st century. Handicap International was directly involved in the process to develop and promote the UN Convention. This international law now provides a framework for all governments and aid organisations to make sure that disabled people’s rights are included in all policies and practices. The Convention entered into force on 3rd May, 2008.
International Day of Persons with Disabilities
Celebrated on 3rd December every year, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and to mobilise support for the dignity, rights, and well-being of persons with disabilities. Each year the day focuses on a different issue.
Free resources on disability and inclusion
Source, our website for practitioners and academics working in the field of disability, provides free access to resources on disability and inclusion, including books, journals, toolkits and reports. It includes material from developing countries and literature not readily available elsewhere.