Wednesday, 12.06.2019

Towards a Barrier-Free Inclusive Society

How can we ensure that persons with disabilities have the same socio-economic opportunities as everyone else?

“Towards a Barrier-Free Inclusive Society for Persons with Disabilities”
Side Event during the 12th session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities | June 12, 2019, 1:15 – 2:45 pm | Permanent Mission of Germany to the UN


In many societies, the socio-economic gap between persons with and without disabilities is increasing, because persons with disabilities experience low levels of education, higher rates of unemployment and economic inactivity and a lack of social protection in comparison to their peers without disabilities. Moreover, persons with disabilities encounter barriers due to lack of or reduced access to healthcare and other services; an increased risk of violence and abuse; lack of access to justice; minimal participation in political and public life; discriminatory attitudes in sexual health, reproductive rights and the right to family life; lack of birth registration; and lack of access to an inclusive and quality education in their own language, and encounter the effects of increasing risks and vulnerability that climate change is creating. Consequently, a system-wide reform is required to strengthen national policies and legal systems to ensure that the policies do not exacerbate discrimination, but rather promote inclusion. Access to institutions, services, labor market, education, and culture are challenges on the national and the local level alike. The proposed discussion is an opportunity for exchange among relevant stakeholders about the different approaches to overcome a variety of barriers towards an inclusive society for persons with disabilities.




  • Luise Rürup, Executive Director, FES New York


  • Kerstin Griese, MP, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Germany
  • Jürgen Dusel, Federal Government Commissioner for Matters relating to Persons with Disabilities, Germany
  • Victor Calise, Commissioner Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, New York City
  • Jose Viera, Representative of the Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities and Executive Director, World Blind Union


  • David Bainbridge, Director, CBM International

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