On the 22nd of April EUD followed a webinar on poverty and social exclusion of persons with disabilities in the European Union. The webinar was organised by the European Disability Forum (EDF) with the participation of the European Commission (DG EMPL), the European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
On the 20th of April 2020, EDF published a new report showcasing the levels poverty and social exclusion of persons with disabilities in Europe. Haydn Hammersley, Social Policy Officer at EDF, highlighted that 28’7% of persons with disabilities living in the EU are at risk of poverty.
Elena Schubert, from the European Commission, explained that Equality Commissioner Helena Dali, has underlined that EU’s commitments under the UN CRPD cannot be forgotten during difficult times such as the COVID-19. Ms Schubert also reminded participants that the European Semester is the main vehicle to implement the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR) as well as the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially to close existing gaps for persons with disabilities in employment, education and social inclusion. She highlighted that 110 million people in Europe continue to live in poverty and explained that principle 17 of the EPSR continues to be the most important tool to improve the situation of persons with disabilities through the country-specific recommendations of the European Semester.
Stijn Broecke, Senior economist in the Employment, Labour and Social Affairs Directorate of the OECD discussed the effects of automation of many jobs. He explained that while technological advancement will lead to job destruction, it will also create new job opportunities. As a challenge, he outlined the management of the transition and called on the relevant authorities to alleviate the disproportionate impact on certain groups such as persons with disabilities.
In relation to the poverty and social exclusion of deaf persons, EUD will continue to work so that the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Article 17 of the European Pillar of Social Rights and the UN Sustainable Development Goals are fully taken into consideration in the coordination of socioeconomic policies across the EU. In this regard, EUD’s toolkit on the EPSR and the European Semester Process explains in detail how National Associations of the Deaf can engage in practice to ensure that the human rights of deaf persons are upheld and promoted.
Access more information about the webinar here. EUD would like to thank EDF for organising the webinar.