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Disability and work

ILO advocates for inclusive Green Transition for Persons with Disabilities

People with disabilities can seize job opportunities in the ecological transition if given the necessary support, says a new report by the ILO Global Business and Disability Network and Fundación ONCE.

News | 15 November 2023
GENEVA (ILO News) – The green transition can offer job opportunities for people with disabilities. Realizing this potential will require inclusive training, education, and sector-specific accessibility measures, among other things, says a new report by the International Labour Organization Global Business and Disability Network (ILO GBDN) and Fundación ONCE (The Spanish National Organization of the Blind).

People with disabilities often bear the brunt of limited resources and are among the first to be negatively affected by the transformation of economies worldwide. They are frequently overlooked in the development of policies addressing environmental challenges and adaptation, emphasizes the analysis.

“Making the Green Transition Inclusive for Persons with Disabilities” highlights that a transition cannot be considered "just" if it ignores the persistent marginalization of people with disabilities in the labour market or exacerbates the already disproportionate effects of climate change on them.

With the appropriate policies, the work transformation induced by climate change can alleviate job polarization due to digitalization, generating middle-skilled jobs, says the report. It also underscores that incorporating individuals with disabilities can offer valuable perspectives to companies, fostering sustainability and innovation.

The document emphasizes the need to promote continuous, inclusive training for people with disabilities; encourage social dialogue with underrepresented groups; and integrate inclusion and accessibility into the transition toward a greener economy and social protection systems.

The paper examines how the ecological transition will impact nine key economic sectors (Energy, Transport, Construction and Real Estate Activities (Buildings), Manufacturing, Agriculture, Farming and Fishing Water Supply and Management, Waste Management, Forestry, and Tourism) and how this can present opportunities and/or challenges for people with disabilities.

The report, developed under the auspices of the Disability Hub Europe, a project led by Fundación ONCE and co-funded by the European Social Fund, was presented during the ILO GBDN 10th Global Annual Conference entitled “Disability in sustainability efforts: businesses leading the way”, which took place at ILO headquarters on November 14 and 15.