IPC-IG's Research Coordinator participates in dialogue on disability, social protection and inclusion

Photo: socialprotection

Rafael Osorio, Senior Research Coordinator at the International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG), participated in the online conference “Disability - Social Protection - Inclusion: Dialogue for change”. The event was organised by UN agencies and other international organisations, and seeked to highlight the achievements of the 2019 Joint Statement on inclusive social protection systems, which came to an end in March 2022.

Osorio participated in the second day of the online conference, in the session “Social Protection and Working-Age Adults”. The panel discussed how social protection systems are evolving towards supporting independent livelihoods and the economic inclusion of working-age adults with disabilities.

He delivered a presentation about Auxílio Inclusão—Brazil’s new Inclusive Aid for persons with disabilities. He stated: "Since it was created, up until 2011, the concept of ‘disability’ implied that the person had some permanent impairment that made them unable to work. At that time, the Benefício de Prestação Continuada (BPC—a benefit which paid one minimum wage to individuals) would be canceled if the person with disability engaged in formal employment. [...] In 2011 the rule was changed so that people would have their BPC suspended if they started formal employment, but the benefit could resume later, when the labor activity ceased after the termination of the contract or after the end of unemployment insurance".

He further clarified that "Another measure taken back in 2011 was to provide some job search assistance for persons with disabilities. We have the unified system (ACESSUAS), and job opportunities for people with disabilities would be advertised by the system so that, theoretically, people with disabilities would be informed about opportunities in their area". 

Veronika Wodsak (International Labour Organization—ILO), was the event’s facilitator, and complemented Osorio's speech stating that "a lot of the legacy systems that have been in place for a long time have considered disability as incapacity for work, and disability benefits as income replacement. With the adoption of the conventional rights of people with disabilities, there was a whole paradigm shift on how we understand disability and a greater push for economic and social inclusion, to really consider the barriers that people with disabilities face to become active in the labour market".

Closing the event, Matthias Thorns, from the International Organisation of Employers, highlighted that "it is  crucial to make sure that people with disabilities have chances to enter the labour market [...] not only for their economic, but also social well-being". 

Watch the recording of the “Social Protection and Working-Age Adults” session here.

About the Conference

The main objectives of the “Disability - Social Protection - Inclusion: Dialogue for Change” conference were to bring together key actors that work on inclusive social protection for people with disabilities; present the current understanding of key issues around inclusive social protection for people with disabilities—what have we done and learned since the adoption of the joint statement on how to strengthen the inclusion of social protection systems and what issues remain open and require further discussion, research, and experiences?—and strengthen the drive to build inclusive social protection systems for people with disabilities and create a joint vision on how to move forward.

The event was organised by the following institutions: the International Labour Organization (ILO); the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF); the International Development Association (IDA); the United Nations Partnership on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNPRPD); the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT); the World Bank; the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ); the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad); HelpAge; the European Union (EU); the UN Joint SDG Fund; and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP).

Access the full event schedule here.