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International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Beirut , Lebanon

In the context of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, marked annually on 3 December, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) is organising a three-day event on including persons with disabilities in the labour market.
Expected participants will represent 16 ESCWA member states, as well as Lebanese civil society and the private sector.

On Monday 4 December, activities will kick off at 14:00 with an opening speech by ESCWA Deputy Executive Secretary Ms. Khawla Mattar , and a statement by the Head of the Department of Disabled Persons Affairs at the Lebanese Ministry of Social Affairs, Ms. Marie El-Hajj. A new social media campaign produced in partnership with the non-profit organization Huloul will be introduced.
Presentations and discussions are set to focus on issues related to the rights of persons with disabilities in the private sector including good practices in Lebanon, as well as current experiences of Arab countries such as Mauritania, Morocco, and Palestine. Solutions and tools that can support people with disabilities will also be explored, taking into consideration right holders’ preferences and the role of member States and civil society.
On Tuesday 5 December, 30 experts on disability issues and labour market policies will take part in a training that addresses what constitutes "an enabling and conducive environment for employment", as well as why governments should prioritize labour market inclusion of people with disabilities. The challenges of implementing Article 27 (Work and Employment) of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) will also be discussed, in addition to skills-training and learning for persons with disabilities, and best practices in the development and application of quotas.

On Wednesday 6 December, the training will assess what is required at the level of the public or private enterprise and the role of governments in this context. Barriers to employment of people with disabilities will be identified, and innovative methods of convincing employers to include people with disabilities will be debated. Finally, participants will discuss ways of fostering best practice among employers, and how to provide reasonable accommodations at the workplace to make a tangible difference.

The event will conclude with the identification of next steps in fostering the inclusion of people with disabilities in the labour market, and the role of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and ESCWA in achieving these goals.
The ESCWA Communication and Information Unit (ECIU) kindly requests media representatives wishing to cover this meeting to confirm their attendance on the following numbers in order to facilitate their access: +96170827372 | +96170008879 | +96170079021


For more information:
Nabil Abu-Dargham +961-70-993144; email: (link sends e-mail)
Ms Rania Harb +961-70-008879; email: (link sends e-mail)
Ms Myrna Mahfouz +961-70-827372; email: (link sends e-mail)
Mr Haidar Fahs +961-70-079021; email: (link sends e-mail)