International Day of Persons with Disabilities (3 December)
“Persons with disabilities have a significant positive impact on society, and their contributions can be even greater if we remove barriers to their participation. With more than one billion persons with disabilities in our world today, this is more important than ever.”
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
United Nations' (UN) International Day of Persons with Disabilities is annually held on December 3 to focus on issues that affect people with disabilities worldwide.
Persons with disabilities, “the world’s largest minority”, have generally poorer health, lower education achievements, fewer economic opportunities and higher rates of poverty than people without disabilities. This is largely due to the lack of services available to them (like information and communications technology (ICT), justice or transportation) and the many obstacles they face in their everyday lives. These obstacles can take a variety of forms, including those relating to the physical environment, or those resulting from legislation or policy, or from societal attitudes or discrimination.
The annual observance of the International Day of Disabled Persons was proclaimed in 1992, by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 47/3. The observance of the Day aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. It also seeks to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.
Why it is important
· Over 1 billion people in the world have some form of disability, that’s 1 in 7
· More than 100 million disabled persons are children
· Children with disabilities are almost four times more likely to experience violence than non-disabled children
· Adults with some form or disability are 1.5 times more likely to be a victim of violence than those without a disability
· Adults with mental health conditions are at nearly four times the risk of experiencing violence
· Observance of the Day provides opportunities for participation by all stakeholders – Governments, the UN system, civil society and organizations of persons with disabilities – to focus on issues related to the inclusion of persons with disabilities in development, both as beneficiaries and agents
· A major focus of the Day is practical and concrete action to include disability in all aspects of development, as well as to further the participation of persons with disabilities in social life and development on the basis of equality. Highlight progress and obstacles in implementing disability-sensitive policies, as well as promote public awareness to break barriers and open doors: for an inclusive society for all.
How UN observes this day
Celebrating International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD) is a collaborative effort between schools, organisations, community groups, businesses and individuals to break down disability barriers and celebrate abilities.
UN observes the day through art and/or musical performances with the participation of persons with disabilities (PWDs), exhibitions of art elements also prepared by PWDs as well as conferences focusing on particular issues affecting the lives of PWDs.